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Bolivia’s Ousted President Evo Morales Accepts Political Asylum In Mexico

Evo Morales has accepted an offer of political asylum in Mexico a day after resigning as president of Bolivia amid election fraud protests.

In a tweet, he said it hurt to be leaving Bolivia but he would return with more “strength and energy”.

Mexico’s Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, confirmed Mr Morales had boarded a Mexican government plane.

Meanwhile, Bolivia’s military commander ordered troops to back up police who have clashed with Morales supporters.

Some 20 people were reported injured in the clashes.

Mr Morales earlier urged his supporters to resist the “dark powers” that had forced him to step down.

The deputy head of the Senate has said she will take over as interim president until new elections are held.

Mr Ebrard announced the decision to grant Mr Morales asylum at a press conference.

Mexico has a left-leaning government and has supported Mr Morales.

Mr Ebrard earlier described events in Bolivia as a “coup”, citing the military’s involvement in Mr Morales’ resignation.

Mr Morales left Bolivia in a Mexican Air Force plane on Monday

Why did Morales quit?

Pressure had been growing on Mr Morales since his narrow victory in last month’s presidential election.

On Sunday, events moved swiftly. First, the Organization of American States, a regional body, announced its audit of the election had found “clear manipulation” and called for the result to be annulled.

In response, Mr Morales agreed to hold fresh elections. But his main rival, Carlos Mesa – who came second in the vote – said Mr Morales should not stand in any new vote.

What really seemed to tip the balance was the intervention of the chief of the armed forces, General Williams Kaliman, who urged Mr Morales to step down in the interests of peace and stability.

BBC

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