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Bolivian Coup: Opposition Leader Names Herself Interim President, While Riots Continue

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Bolivian Coup: Opposition Leader Names Herself Interim President, While Riots Continue

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On November 12th, Jeanine Anez proclaimed herself as the interim President of Bolivia.

Before November 10th she was the 2nd vice president of the Senate, but due to resignations she became the Senate Leader, she is also the opposition leader.

“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.

What she did goes directly against the Bolivian constitution. The Senate lacked a quorum to appoint her as president, since the session was boycotted by Morales’ Movement for Socialism party.

Anez said the constitution allowed her to become Bolivia’s head of state after the resignation of the president and vice president, which is a lie, in its entirety. She could only become president after receiving full support from the Senate, and there was no quorum to provide such a support.

She said she planned to call a new election as soon as possible and that Bolivia could not be left in a power vacuum after Morales’ resignation.

Finally, she praised that the Bible had returned to the presidential palace, reminding that right-wing protest leader Fernando Camacho went to the empty building and kneeled with the Bible in hand.

CNN en Espanol immediately held an interview with the self-proclaimed interim president.

“Morales should not have been a candidate when all Bolivians told him that he could no longer run again, there is no democratic institutionality in the country,” Áñez told CNN.

Áñez denied that Morales had been the victim of a coup, saying: “What happened in Bolivia was the verification of monumental fraud. A coup d’etat is when there are soldiers in the streets.”

In a tweet, former President Evo Morales called Anez’s assumption of the presidency “the most crafty and disastrous coup in history.”

“We are here safe thanks to Mexico and its authorities, but I also want to tell you sisters and brothers, as long as I’m alive, we’ll continue in politics,” he said.

He further cited the articles in the Constitution that specifically prohibited what Jeanine Anez did and that it went against the law, since she needed support from the Senate.

Morales further accused his principal rival, former president Carlos Mesa of destroying democracy and massacring his own people.

“Carlos Mesa tramples the Political Constitution of the State, destroys democracy and massacres the people. That is your legacy for history.”

And it is appearing to be quite the coup, which is, so far, successful, with Fernando Camacho, a right-wing oligarch, and Jeanine Anez clearly approving and supporting his actions.

Morales said the following regarding Camacho:

“Fernando Camacho, there is no pride in dividing Bolivia, the Bible is not used to send people to kill Bolivians and the Political Constitution of the State is not used to burn institutions. Stop destroying Bolivia.”

Immediately after Jeanine Anez proclaimed herself as the interim president, clashes broke out on the streets of La Paz, with Morales supporters calling for her to quit.

They were met by police, who fired tear gas to try to disperse the crowd.

Military fighter jets flew repeatedly over La Paz in a show of force to Morales loyalists who were already in the city, but were stopped from getting to the main square.

The crisis in Bolivia is far from over, with clashes taking place on the streets of La Paz, between opposition supporters, the military and police on one side, and Morales supporters on the other.

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