Staged coup d'etat: Bolivia's Morales resigns after losing backing of security forces

Russia slams 'wave of violence' that forced Morales to resign

EU calls for restraint in Bolivia

Evo Morales announced  his resignation as president of Bolivia after the military called for him to step down and the police withdrew their support following weeks of unrest over disputed election results.
In a televised address, Bolivia’s president of nearly 14 years in power said he was stepping down for the “good of the country”. but added in an attack on opponents whom he had accused of a coup attempt: “Dark forces have destroyed democracy.”

Morales' announcement came shortly after the commander-in-chief of the Bolivian armed forces, Williams Kaliman, exhorted him to resign his “presidential mandate allowing the pacification and maintenance of stability for the good of Bolivia”.

"We suggest the President of the State renounce his presidential mandate, allowing peace to be restored and the stability maintained for the good of our Bolivia," Kaliman said.

"Likewise, we ask the Bolivian people and mobilized sectors to shed attitudes of violence and disorder among brothers so as not to stain our families with blood, pain and mourning."

Russia slams 'wave of violence' that forced Morales to resign

Russia on Monday condemned opposition protests in Bolivia that led to the resignation of president Evo Morales, pointing to a "staged coup d'etat".

"We view with concern the dramatic development of events in Bolivia, where the wave of violence unleashed by the opposition did not allow Evo Morales to complete his presidential mandate," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Russia expressed "deep concern" over the events, which it said "followed the scenario of a staged coup d'etat".

It said that Morales' government had been ready to seek "constructive solutions on the basis of dialogue."

"We call on all political forces in Bolivia to show common sense and responsibility," the statement said, pressing for a "constitutional way out of the situation."

Morales last visited president Vladimir Putin in Moscow in July. The Bolivian leader's position on backing leftist governments in Cuba and Venezuela matched that of Russia.

EU calls for restraint in Bolivia

The EU's diplomatic chief urged "restraint and responsibility" in Bolivia where President Evo Morales resigned and called for new elections after the security forces withdrew their support.
Leftist leader Morales stepped down after three weeks of demonstrations over his disputed re-election, which Latin American observers said was marred by irregularities, sparking street celebrations but also leaving a power vacuum.

"I would like to express clearly our wish that all parties in the country exercise restraint and responsibility and lead the country peacefully and quietly to new elections, credible elections that can let the people of Bolivia express their democratic will," EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini told reporters as she arrived for talks with European foreign ministers in Brussels.

Morales, who became Bolivia's first indigenous president in 2006, gained a controversial fourth term when he was declared the winner of the October 20 presidential election by a narrow margin.

But the opposition cried foul and the Organization of American States carried out an audit of the election and on Sunday reported irregularities in just about every aspect that it examined.

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