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Bolivian President Evo Morales resigns after rigged polls protest

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Bolivian President Evo Morales on Sunday (local time) announced his resignation amid growing opposition after an international audit found the results of last month's election could not be validated due to "serious irregularities."

Morales said he was stepping down "for the good of the country," which has been roiled by protests in the days following the October 20 election in which three people had died and a hundred others had sustained injuries, CNN reported.

"I regret this deeply," Morales said on national television.

Morales said he will send his resignation letter to Congress in the next few hours.

Demonstrators and the Bolivian opposition had accused electoral authorities of manipulating the vote count in favour of Morales, the socialist leader who has reigned the country since a long time. Morales, however, denied the allegations and declared himself to be the winner.

Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera also announced his resignation minutes after Morales.

According to the Bolivian Constitution, the President of the Senate would be next in the line of succession. But it's not clear if that person will ascend to the presidency because of widespread opposition to Morales' party.

Morales resigned just hours after he promised new elections would be held and the country's electoral council replaced following a report by the Organisation of American States (OAS).

"The manipulations to the computer system (used in the elections) are of such magnitude that they must be deeply investigated by the Bolivian State to get to the bottom (of this issue)," the OAS said, in part.

Morales was one of the longest-serving heads of state in Latin America, is Bolivia's first indigenous president. He won his first election with a campaign that promised a government focused on the needs of the country's poor but later he was accused of using the system to concentrate power.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, November 11 2019. 03:44 IST
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