ANKARA: Bolivian President Evo Morales resigned Sunday, shortly after the head of the country’s armed forces called on him to step down, Anadolu Agency reported, quoting Morales’s televised speech.
“I resign my post as president,” Morales said in a televised address.
During his speech, he slammed the “capitalist system” and vowed to continue fighting for Bolivian democracy.
Morales said he made the decision so his political rivals would stop harming the families and properties of members of the ruling Movement for Socialism (MAS).
He said the call on him to resign was a coup and slammed those who targeted democracy and social peace in the country.
He went on to say that he would continue fighting for peace and equality.
“This doesn’t end here,” he asserted.
Vice president Alvaro Garcia Linera also resigned after the military’s intervention.
He accused “dark and foreign powers” of orchestrating the coup.
The vice president, who became emotional during his speech, said their government had nationalised natural resources and significantly improved the living conditions of millions of Bolivians.
In a televised statement, Army Chief William Kaliman urged Morales to resign in order to restore security in the country.
Earlier in the day, Morales called for new elections to address allegations of voting irregularities.
Bolivia has been mired in political unrest following alleged irregularities in presidential elections held Oct 20 in which international monitoring organisations claimed to have found manipulation of the voting system.
Morales received 47.8 per cent of the vote and secured victory in the first round of the polls.
Carlos Mesa, leader of the main opposition Revolutionary Left Front party, said he would not recognise Morales’ victory, claiming there was “fraud” in the vote count.
Morales has been president since 2006. – Bernama