Latin America

Under fire for presidency bid, Bolivia interim leader asks all ministers to resign

Bolivia’s interim leader Jeanine Anez has asked all cabinet ministers to resign months ahead of general elections amid growing criticisms of her bid to run for president despite an earlier pledge not to do so.

A presidential statement on Sunday said that Anez’s decision was in line with efforts in the management of the country’s “democratic transition,” months after she rose to power on the back of an an effective coup d’état that forced ex-President Evo Morales to resign.

Anez said she will name the new cabinet “as soon as possible.”

The move came a day after Communication Minister Roxana Lizarraga resigned in protest at Anez’s decision to compete in the presidential election on May 3.

When Anez assumed interim presidency last November, she said she had no intention of becoming president.

In a U-turn on Friday, Anez announced her candidacy in the 2020 election.

Lizarraga, who was appointed by Anez on November 13, 2019, criticized the interim president for having “lost sight of her objectives,” adding, “This is not the path the citizenry has signaled to us.”

Anez’s presidential bid has drawn widespread criticisms from other Bolivian politicians, including Morales —now in exile in Argentina.

Morales reminded Anez that “she promised not to be a candidate,” although he said “it is her right.”

Former president Carlos Mesa, 66, said, “I think she’s making a big mistake” because “she has not been appointed to propose herself as a candidate for the presidency.”

Ex-presidential candidate Samuel Doria Medina voiced his opposition

Meanwhile, lawmaker Luis Felipe Dorado said he would consult the Constitutional Court about the matter.

Anez came only fourth on 12 percent in an opinion poll published on Sunday that was led by Morales’s Movement for Socialism (MAS) candidate with 26 percent.

MAS headed the survey by Mercados y Muestras and published in the Pagina Siete newspaper.

“In all the polls we are first,” Morales tweeted in reaction, adding, “We are ready to beat the coup and regain the homeland.”

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