TEMPO.CO, La Paz - Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Sunday he was resigning to ease violence that has gripped the South American nation since a disputed election, but he stoked fears of more unrest by saying he was the victim of a “coup” and faced arrest.
Video footage showed clashes on the streets of La Paz and some buildings on fire Sunday night after the military called on Morales to step down and allies deserted him following weeks of protests since the Oct. 20 election.
Bolivia's President Evo Morales addresses the media at the presidential hangar in the Bolivian Air Force terminal in El Alto, Bolivia, November 10, 2019. Morales, who came to power in 2006 as Bolivia's first indigenous leader, said in televised comments that he would submit his resignation letter to help restore stability, though he aimed barbs at what he called a "civic coup." REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Morales, in power for nearly 14 years, said in televised comments earlier that he would submit his resignation letter to help restore stability, though he aimed barbs at what he called a “civic coup” and later said police planned to arrest him.
“I am resigning, sending my letter of resignation to the Legislative Assembly,” Morales said, adding that it was his “obligation as indigenous president and president of all Bolivians to seek peace.”
However, underscoring the ongoing tensions, Morales later said on Twitter that the police had an “illegal” warrant for his arrest and that “violent groups” had attacked his home.