Former Bolivian president Evo Morales says he will not run in new elections. But his resignation has not been accepted

Speaking to CNNE’s Carmen Aristegui in Mexico City Thursday, Morales said that the country’s National Assembly has not yet accepted his formal resignation.

Morales, who was in power for nearly 14 years, accepted an offer of political asylum from Mexico after resigning Sunday amid allegations of “serious irregularities” during last month’s election and pressure from the country’s armed forces.

He claims the accusations are part of a coup by right-wing politicians and the armed forces, but his opposition maintains they are fighting for democracy and peace.

Jeanine Anez, the second vice president of Bolivia’s Senate, appointed herself as interim president on Tuesday after the three people in positions ahead of her quit.

“This is a transitional government,” Anez said in an interview with CNN. “Obviously, as soon as we can, we will call general elections so the Bolivian people can have a president elected by us in a democratic manner.”

Morales told Aristegui he will not be participating in those elections.

“For peace, for Bolivia, I’m not going to run for the presidency,” Morales said.

But Anez told reporters Thursday that both Morales and former Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera are barred from the election.

“I would suggest to the MAS party, that from now on they have all the rights to participate in the general elections, to start looking for a candidate … Evo Morales is not eligible for a fourth term,” said Anez.

Supporters of Bolivian ex-President Evo Morales protest against the interim government in La Paz.

Protests for Morales

Protests broke out Wednesday in La Paz, the administrative capital of Bolivia. Demonstrators carried the indigenous flag and called for Morales to reject Anez’s government.

Indigenous people make up some 20% of Bolivia’s population, while 68% of the country has some Amerindian ancestry, according to the CIA World Factbook. Much of Morales support in the past has come from his leftist policies to reduce poverty and support indigenous Bolivians.

Rigoberta Menchu, one of Latin America’s most prominent indigenous rights activists, came out in support of Morales on Twitter Wednesday.

“We energetically condemn the coup d’etat in Bolivia, perpetrated by the army and oligarchs opposed to the government of our brother President Evo Morales,” said Menchu, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in her home country of Guatemala.

The protesters were in brief confrontations with riot police Wednesday. Some protesters were seen throwing rocks at authorities, while police used tear gas to disperse those who had gathered.

Interim President of Bolivia Jeanine Añez speaks during a press conference at presidential palace.

US backs interim government

The United States threw its support behind Anez Wednesday, officially recognizing her government.

Washington’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, congratulated the interim Bolivian President in a statement Wednesday and called “on all parties to protect democracy during the coming weeks and to refrain from violent acts against fellow citizens and their property.”

Morales was quick to denounce the decision by the Trump administration to recognize the Anez government.

“This coup d’etat that has triggered the death of my Bolivian brothers is a political and economic plot that came from the US,” Morales said Wednesday.

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