Senator Jeanine Áñez declares herself acting president in Bolivia

Although Áñez is being backed by the police and military forces, she has little political support

Jeanine Anez Chavez holds a Bolivian flag in the Congress in capital La Paz. Photo: REUTERS

The opposition politician and Senate second vice-president, Jeanine Añez, declared herself interim president after Evo Morales stepped down as Bolivia’s president. Following Morales, vice-president Álvaro García Linera has also resigned, as well as the Senate president and the first Senate vice president – which makes the Senate second vice-president the next in line, according to the Bolivian constitution.

“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,” said Áñez during a parliamentary session suspended for the lack of quorum.

Although the politician has the support of the Bolivian police and military forces, she will have a hard time to manage a transition government in order to call new elections in the country. “Without a quorum, she can’t appoint new members of the Superior Electoral Court, and, therefore, she has no way to call an election,” said the expert and political scientist Clayton Cunha Filho to the media outlet Valor Econômico.

Lawmakers from the leftist Movement for Socialism party and supporters of Morales boycotted the session, saying it was not legitimate. From Mexico, the former president wrote on his Twitter account that this was the “sneakiest, most nefarious coup in history”.

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