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Bolivia President Morales announces resignation

SUCRE: Bolivian President Evo Morales announced his resignation on Sunday, caving in following three weeks of sometimes-violent protests over his disputed re-election after the army and police withdrew their backing.

“I resign my post as president,” Morales said in a televised address, capping a day of fast-moving events in which several ministers and senior officials quit as support for Latin America’s longest-serving president crumbled.

“I resign my presidency. Why did I decide to resign? So that [opposition leader Carlos] Mesa and [protest leader Luis Fernando] Camacho do not continue to persecute my brothers, union leaders.”

His resignation came after the commander of Bolivia’s armed forces General Williams Kaliman called on the embattled leader to resign.

“After analysing the conflicted domestic situation, we ask the president to resign his presidential mandate to allow for pacification and the maintaining of stability, for the good of our Bolivia,” Kaliman told reporters.

Speaking on national television, Kaliman also appealed to Bolivians to desist from violence.

He stepped in after Morales agreed earlier in the day to hold a new election.

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