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Weekly Report - 14 November 2019 (WR-19-45)

End of an era in Bolivia as Morales resigns

Bolivia’s longest-serving leader Evo Morales has resigned after nearly 14 years in office. The culmination of the crisis stemming from the disputed 20 October election [WR-19-43], his departure on 10 November was precipitated by an audit of the results by the Organization of American States (OAS), which called for fresh elections after finding irregularities, and the loss of support from the security forces. While Morales, whose term ended in January 2020, and his supporters maintain he was the target of a “civic-political-police coup”, his critics suggest the “coup” (or disruption of the constitutional order) stems from his flouting of term limits and disregard for the 2016 popular referendum against their removal. With seven dead so far from clashes in the post-electoral violence, which has continued since Morales’s resignation, the polarisation surrounding the debate as to the legitimacy of his removal bodes ill for Bolivia’s future.

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