Following an election backlash, Bolivian President Evo Morales announced on Sunday he had submitted his letter of resignation to parliament after the military, police and opposition suggested he step down.
The commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Williams Kaliman, and police chief Vladimir Calderon Mariscal both appeared on camera to call on Morales to resign in order to foster peace earlier on Sunday.
“Our great desire is for societal peace for return,” said Morales in his televised remarks. Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera also announced his resignation.
“I ask you to stop attacking the brothers and sisters, stop burning and attacking,” Morales told the Bolivian people.
The 60-year-old also aimed criticism at what he called the “civic coup” which led to his resignation.
Speaking earlier on Sunday, army chief Kaliman said: “We suggest the president of the state renounce his presidential mandate, allowing peace to be restored and stability maintained for the good of our Bolivia.”
‘Irregularities’ in the election
Earlier on Sunday, Morales announced new elections and several members of his Cabinet and other allies also stood down.
Bolivia has seen weeks of unrest and rioting, resulting in three deaths and hundreds of people injured, in the wake of the disputed October 20 election.
The resignation of Supreme Court Electoral Tribunal President Maria Eugenia Choque earlier on Sunday may have been key in Morales’ decision.
The Organization of American States called for a fresh election earlier on Sunday following an audit of October’s election. They concluded that there were irregularities in the vote.
In power since 2006, Morales was Latin America’s longest-serving leader.
ed/dr (Reuters, dpa, AP)
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