Mexico City, Nov 12 (IANS) Mexico has offered asylum to former Bolivian President Evo Morales, a day after he resigned following weeks of protest over a disputed election.
Mexico says the decision was taken for “humanitarian reasons” after a request from Morales, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
Morales has not yet commented. He earlier urged his supporters to resist the “dark powers” that had forced him to step down.
Some 20 people were reported injured as his supporters clashed with police.
Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous leader, stepped down after the head of the army publicly called on him to leave his post.
The deputy head of the Senate said she would take over as interim president until new elections were held.
Morales, a former coca farmer, was first elected in 2006. He has won plaudits for fighting poverty and improving Bolivia’s economy but drew controversy by defying constitutional term limits to run for a fourth term in October’s election, which is alleged to have been rife with irregularities.
The biggest criticism of Evo Morales was his lack of respect for Bolivia’s democracy – accused of overstaying his welcome and refusing to step down.
But the fact that the military has called the shots on the president standing down does not do much for Bolivia’s democracy either.
Now Evo Morales has gone, there is a power vacuum. Increasing numbers of his Mas party are resigning, and it feels like there is a need for retribution – for Evo Morales and his people to pay the price for the mistakes they made while in power.
His supporters have called this a coup – his detractors the end of tyranny.
The priority now is to choose an interim leader, call new elections and bring a polarised Bolivia together or face yet more unrest and violence in the coming weeks.