On Tuesday, Bolivian senator Jeanine Áñez declared herself interim president of the South American country after former leader Evo Morales resigned over the weekend.
The 52-year-old opposition senator contends she is next in line under the constitution given that the three politicians ahead of her in the line of succession quit following Morales’ departure.
The former president, who stepped down on Sunday following weeks of massive protests and an Organization of American States (OAS) report that found “serious irregularities” around the October 20 presidential election vote count, called Áñez “a coup-mongering right-wing senator.”
Morales, the longest-serving president of Bolivia, accepted political asylum in Mexico on Monday because his life was in danger in his home country. The first Indigenous president of Bolivia said that he and several of his supporters have experienced various forms of violence from opponents. He has contended that he was forced to vacate his seat “so there would be no more bloodshed.”
From Mexico, Morales tweeted that his coerced resignation makes it the “sneakiest, most nefarious coup in history.”
Áñez, a lawyer and longtime critic of Morales, became a senator in 2010, representing the region of Beni in the National Assembly. Prior to her career in politics, she was the director of the Totalvision TV station.