FREE AT LAST as Bolivian President Resigned Amid Escalating Tension
Nov. 11, 2019
Bolivian President Evo Morales has resigned amid widespread protests across the country alleging fraud in the presidential election that he declared himself the winner of just three weeks ago.
"It is my obligation, as the indigenous president and as the president of all Bolivians, to look for peace," Morales said in a televised address on Sunday. "For this and many reasons, I am resigning."
Morales added that he felt deeply sorry for what he previously referred to as a "civic coup."
Since October's election, Bolivia has descended further into turmoil as allegations of fraud cast a cloud over the results of the vote. Morales initially called for new elections early on Sunday, after the Organization of American States released a preliminary audit indicating "serious security flaws" and a "clear manipulation" of a computer system, which the audit says ultimately affected the final count.
"The manipulations to the computer system are of such a magnitude that they should be deeply investigated by the Bolivian government to get to the bottom of and assign responsibilities in this serious case," the audit said.
However, it wasn't the only factor likely forcing Morales' hand: Police across the country began to declare themselves in mutiny, joining the throngs of protestors. In several cities, there have been reports of officers leaving their posts to march with protestors while chanting opposition slogans. Widespread images also show police wave national flags on the roof of police headquarters,
Image above demonstrates that Williams Kaliman, commander of the Bolivian armed forces, said Saturday at a press conference that the military would not confront protestors.
"We will never face the people who we serve and we will always ensure peace between our brothers and the development of our country," Kaliman said.
Luis Fernando Camacho, a Bolivian protest leader, tweeted that he "cried with joy" at the mutiny of police forces, thanking them for "being with the people."
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