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Bolivian Senate head assumes interim presidency

Bolivian Senate head assumes interim presidency

The head of Bolivia’s Senate, Jeanine Anez, took office as interim president on Tuesday as former leader Evo Morales pledged to keep up his political “fight” from exile in Mexico after resigning in what he has alleged was a coup. Anez, 52, assumed leadership before other lawmakers in Congress, invoking a constitutional clause that dictates

The head of Bolivia’s Senate, Jeanine Anez, took office as interim president on Tuesday as former leader Evo Morales pledged to keep up his political “fight” from exile in Mexico after resigning in what he has alleged was a coup.

Anez, 52, assumed leadership before other lawmakers in Congress, invoking a constitutional clause that dictates that she would be next in line to rule the country after Morales and his vice president, Alvaro Garcia, resigned on Sunday.

A parliamentary session scheduled to formally appoint her was boycotted by lawmakers from Morales’ leftist MAS party, who said it would be illegitimate.

“Before the definitive absence of the president and vice president … as the president of the Chamber of Senators, I immediately assume the presidency as foreseen in the constitutional order,” Anez, a right-wing opponent of Morales, said to applause from opposition lawmakers.

It was unclear if the move would quell unrest in the highland capital, La Paz, and other cities unleashed by Morales’ disputed bid for a fourth term. Video footage on Tuesday showed police battling Morales supporters in the city of Cochabamba and masked protesters calling for civil war.

A senator with Morales’ party called for protests starting on Tuesday until he returns to finish his mandate in January.



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