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Sun Nov 10, 2019, 04:19 PM

Bolivian leader Evo Morales steps down

Last edited Sun Nov 10, 2019, 05:13 PM - Edit history (1)

President Evo Morales, who came to power in Bolivia in 2006 as part of a leftist wave sweeping Latin America, resigned on Sunday after unrelenting protests by an infuriated population that accused him of undermining democracy by clinging to office.

Morales was once widely popular, and stayed in the presidency longer than any other current head of state in Latin America.

Morales, 60, was the first Indigenous president in a country that had been led by a tiny elite of European descent for centuries, and he shepherded Bolivia through an era of economic growth and shrinking inequality, winning support from Bolivians who saw him as their first true representative in the capital.

But his reluctance to give up power — first bending the country’s laws to stand for a fourth election, then insisting that he won despite widespread concerns about fraud — left him besieged by protests, abandoned by allies and unable to count on the police and the armed forces, which sided with the protesters and demanded he resign.

Carlos Mesa, the former president who came in second in the disputed election, has said that the country’s political parties should come together and organize a new vote.

At: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/10/world/americas/evo-morales-bolivia.html

Bolivian President Evo Morales (right) and Vice President Alvaro García Linera, both of whom resigned at 5:00 p.m. local time today.

Morales had conceded to calling new elections before today's military coup.

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