Mexico grants asylum to Bolivia’s former president Morales

World Today

Mexico has granted the asylum request of former Bolivian president Evo Morales. He stepped down on Sunday following weeks of protests. But the resignations of the vice president and several other top officials have left Bolivians uncertain about who’s in charge, and what happens now. CGTN’S Dan Collyns reports.

Mexico’s foreign minister said the country would give shelter to former Bolivian president Evo Morales. He also told reporters that Bolivia should grant Morales safe-conduct as his life was under threat.

“The ministry decided to grant political asylum to Evo Morales in view of the urgent situation which he faces in Bolivia where his life and safety are at risk,” said Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard.

Ebrard also confirmed that Morales had accepted the asylum offer, which comes just a day after the Bolivian leader said he would step down.

A series of quick-fire developments led to the resignation of Latin America’s longest-serving leader. It began with the Organisation of American States report that said it had found “clear manipulations” of the voting system in the elections last month. The president promised to call fresh elections but stepped down after the head of the army publicly called for him to leave his post.

Morales said he was the victim of a coup attempt staged by his opponents, but Carlos Mesa, the runner up in the disputed election, denied this.

“We categorically and clearly deny there was a coup in Bolivia and there is no element that allows us to think that a coup happened,” Mesa declared.

The resignation has split the region. In a statement,  U.S President, Donald Trump welcomed Morales’s departure as “a significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere.” But Mexico’s foreign minister is calling it a step backwards.

Amid concerns about a power void following mass resignations, the deputy head of the senate Jeanine Añez was expected to be sworn in as interim president.  The European Union said it could send an electoral observation mission.

“If we are asked to send one, and if the conditions are right definitely we will do our best to send an electoral observation mission,” said EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini.

Meanwhile, many Bolivians were hoping for a peaceful transition of power after a night of looting, vandalism and arson attacks in the wake of Morales’ decision.