OP ED: Nothing new here. Seen before all over the world. The Shah of Iran, Marcos, Duvalier, Mubarak, all to name a few. Some would say here in PANAMA also. Plunder your fill for the country and constituents you represent, and then golden parachute your way in the world. Maybe even goes as far as China. Who knows? But as in all these cases if not most, once the military arm is fractured in any divisive way, it’s time to get out of Dodge!
The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, resigned this Sunday from his political cradle in the central region of Cochabamba after three weeks of protests against his controversial re-election and after losing the support of the Armed Forces and the Police.
Armed Forces and Police ask Evo Morales to resign to pacify Bolivia
“I resign from my position as president so that (Carlos) Mesa and (Luis Fernando) Camacho do not continue to persecute social leaders,” Morales said on television, referring to opposition leaders who called for protests against him, unleashed the day following the elections of October 20.
Hours earlier, Morales had called for new elections after an OAS audit that detected “serious irregularities” in the elections, but the measure was not enough. The Armed Forces and the Police requested his resignation, adding to a request from opposition leaders.
“After analyzing the internal conflict situation, we ask the president of the State to renounce his presidential mandate allowing the pacification and maintenance of stability, for the good of our Bolivia,” General Kaliman told reporters.
Bolivian Vice President Álvaro García Linera also resigned.
In the midst of a new wave of violence, ministers and officials had resigned their offices in block.
Dissatisfied with the announcements of new elections, opponents calling for the resignation of Morales attacked the house of the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Víctor Borda, in Potosí (southwest), who after his resignation resigned his position.
The Minister of Mining, César Navarro, also presented his resignation after his house, also in Potosí, was burned by a group of opponents. He was followed by the resignation of the Minister of Hydrocarbons, Luis Alberto Sánchez.
Immediately after the announcement, the streets of La Paz became a carnival, with the explosion of firecrackers and thousands of protesters waving Bolivian tricolor flags (red, yellow and green).
Post-election protests caused three deaths and at least 383 injured, according to the Ombudsman’s Office.
The violence expanded this Sunday. At least three wounded, one by firearm, left an ambush in an area of the highlands against buses with opponents traveling to La Paz.
Very early, the OAS issued in a statement: “The first round of elections held on October 20 must be annulled and the electoral process must begin again … as soon as there are new conditions that give new guarantees for its celebration. , including a new composition of the electoral body. “
The opposition leader, Luis Fernando Camacho, celebrates in the streets of La Paz. AFP / Aizar Raldés
According to the OAS, “in the four elements reviewed (technology, chain of custody, integrity of the records and statistical projections) irregularities were found, ranging from very serious to indicative.”
The Prosecutor General of Bolivia then opened a case against the seven members of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), related to President Evo Morales, for his alleged responsibility for the irregularities detected by the OAS.
Morales, in power since 2006, had agreed to a fourth term until 2025 in the first round with 47.08% of the vote and more than 10 percentage points ahead of Mesa (36.51%), according to the official calculation objected by the opposition.
In the Vatican, Pope Francis had exhorted Bolivians in his morning prayer to wait in “peace and serenity” for the results of the audit.
After knowing the result, the United States asked the OAS to send a mission to Bolivia to ensure that the new elections are “free and fair.”
Meanwhile, Cuba supported its ally Morales and called to condemn the “coup adventure of imperialism and the oligarchy” in Bolivia, according to its Foreign Ministry.
The protests that erupted after the elections began in the eastern region of Santa Cruz, the richest in Bolivia, and spread to other cities, including La Paz.
On Saturday the houses of two governors of Morales had been burned, as well as that of Esther, sister of the president, in Oruro (south).
On Saturday, Morales had called the opposition parties to a dialogue – which they refused – excluding the powerful regional civic committees that had him surrounded by protests.
The strikes caused losses of about $ 12 million, according to official figures.
The opposition had rejected the OAS audit because it was considered a “unilateral” decision.
In addition, the opposition criticizes the president for ignoring a 2016 referendum in which the Bolivians rejected indefinite reelection. A ruling in 2017 of a related constitutional court allowed him to be a candidate.