Bolivia interm leader Anez to run in presidential election

La Paz (AFP) –


Bolivia's Interim President Jeanine Anez on Friday said she would stand in the May 3 presidential election, which comes after the resignation of Evo Morales in November.

"I have made the decision to stand as a candidate in the national elections," Anez said in a speech.

A little-known senator, Anez assumed the presidency on November 12, two days after Morales resigned following three weeks of sometimes violent protests against his controversial re-election in a poll the Organization of American States said was rigged.

"I had not planned to participate in this election," Anez said, explaining that she had finally decided to stand due to the lack of unity among the opposition to Morales' Movement for Socialism (MAS) party, which is leading the polls.

However, the polls were carried out before economist Luis Arce announced he will stand in the election, backed by the MAS.

"The dispersion of votes and candidacies led me to make this decision," said Anez.

According to a poll published in early January by the Pagina Siete newspaper, the MAS leads voting intentions with 20.7 percent, followed by Anez -- who was not yet a candidate -- with 15.6 percent and centrist candidate and former president Carlos Mesa on 13.8 percent.