The Times-Tribune

Bolivia chaotic as leader resigns

- BY LUIS ANDRES HENAO AND CARLOS VALDEZ ANEZ

LA PAZ, Bolivia — Former Bolivian President Evo Morales said Monday he was headed for Mexico after being granted asylum there, as his supporters and foes clashed on the streets of the capital following his resignatio­n and a tearful opposition leader laid out a possible path toward new elections.

Morales stepped down Sunday following weeks of massive protests over a disputed presidenti­al election, but the resignatio­ns of every constituti­onally designated successor left unclear who will take his place and how.

Angry supporters of the socialist leader set barricades ablaze to block some roads leading to the country’s main airport, while his foes blocked most of the streets leading to the capital’s main square in front of Congress and the presidenti­al palace. Police urged residents of La Paz to stay in their homes and said they were joining with the army to avoid an escalation of the violence.

Morales tweeted that he was leaving Monday evening, and Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard confirmed in a tweet that Morales was on a plane sent by Mexico City.

Amid the power vacuum, opposition politician and Senate Second Vice President Jeanine Añez said in an emotional address that she would take temporary control of the Senate, though it was unclear if she would be able to get approval from Congress, which is controlled by Morales supporters.

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