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The Debate

Bolivia after Morales: Power vacuum as security forces side with opposition

FR24
FR24 France 24

Why is Evo Morales suddenly out in Bolivia? Is it, as he claims, a coup? The president had been taking on all comers since the October 20th election, marred by irregularities and an unexplained interruption in the vote count. Events came to a head after the final report by the Organisation of American States observers, which called for a rerun of the poll. Morales Sunday first agreed, then several hours later announced his shock resignation. Why?

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As events accelerated, police started joining the demonstrators and the head of the army pledged not to fire on the people. Overnight, scenes of joy turned to looting and the nation was beset by confusion over who is now running the country. How will Bolivia's democracy fare during the crucial hours and days to come?

The Bolivian economy grew on Morales' watch, but with commodity prices slumping the country now faces leaner times and growing inequality. Where does that all leave the left and the hopes raised by the 2006 election of Bolivia's first indigenous head of state?

Produced by Yi Song, Juliette Laurain and Jimena Morales-Velasco.

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