Exiled former Bolivian president Evo Morales called for calm on Tuesday after several hundred right-wing protesters demanded that a “military junta” replace socialist president-elect Luis Arce.
On Monday, hundreds of demonstrators marched to military barracks in the eastern city of Santa Cruz — a right-wing stronghold — and called for “military help” to prevent the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party from regaining power following a year under conservative Jeanine Anez’s interim government.
Morales wrote on Twitter, however, that “the constitution is very clear on the role of the armed forces and the Bolivian police: We, as we always have done, will respect them as institutions.”
“We must all act calmly in a constitutional way.”
Bolivia has been in political crisis for a year after Morales ignored the constitution and stood for and won a fourth successive term as president, even though leaders are limited to two terms.
Following weeks of protest and an Organization of American States (OAS) audit that found clear evidence of fraud, Morales resigned and fled the country and Anez assumed the presidency.
New elections were held on October 18 with Arce — from Morales’ MAS party — romping to victory.
The electoral tribunal, Anez and four observer missions, including the OAS, have all confirmed the election was clean and transparent.
Arce claimed more than 55 percent of the vote with centrist former president Carlos Mesa a distant second on just under 29 percent.
But Monday’s protesters don’t trust the result.
“I don’t want a communist country,” said one banner, according to the El Deber de Santa Cruz newspaper.
“I support a constitutional transition of power to a military junta to avoid a second fraud,” said another.
One protester told the newspaper that he wanted “a transitional military government until it’s possible to hold elections without fraud.”
Santa Cruz is the stronghold of right-wing civic leader Luis Fernando Camacho who led protests against Morales last year and finished third in the recent election with 14 percent.
Morales was barred from standing in the election.
Bolivia is waiting to see when Morales will return from exile in Argentina after a judge on Monday lifted a preventative detention order against him over alleged “terrorism.”
Neither the armed forces nor the government has commented on the demonstration.
The topic is sensitive in Bolivia, which was mostly ruled by military dictatorships from 1964-82.
© 2020 AFP
Britain ‘rushed’ Pfizer Covid vaccine approval: Fauci
Leading American infectious disease scientist Anthony Fauci criticized Britain on Thursday for rushing through its approval process for the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, suggesting the move could undermine public faith.
His comments came a day after Britain became the first Western country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine for general use, prompting some skepticism among the country's European neighbors and suggestions that the process was politicized.
Widely-respected Fauci, who leads the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS News on Thursday: "In all fairness to so many of my UK friends, you know, they kind of ran around the corner of the marathon and joined it in the last mile.
Donald Trump’s eyes and ears at the Justice Department banned from the building: report
The Associated Press reported Thursday that President Donald Trump’s eyes and ears at the Justice Department was barred from entering the building.
The report revealed that Heidi Stirrup, "an ally of top Trump adviser Stephen Miller," was pressuring Justice Department staff to hand over sensitive documents and information about alleged "election fraud" and other issues that are important to Trump.
Attorney General Bill Barr told the AP on Tuesday that there was no widespread election fraud or voter fraud, as Trump has claimed for the past several weeks since losing the 2020 election. Trump alleged that Barr “hasn’t looked very hard."
Obama says some Black men are persuaded by Trump’s ‘macho’ bravado bragging about women and money
In part two of the SnapChat interview with President Barack Obama, Peter Hamby asked how President Donald Trump was able to persuade so many Black men to support him over President-elect Joe Biden.
When Obama was elected he got about 95 percent of the Black vote, where Biden got about 80 percent.
"Well, look, I think men, generally, are more susceptible to public figures who act tough, sort of the stereotypical macho style," Obama said, while videos of Trump showing off his flabby muscles appeared. "I don't think Black men are immune to that any more than White or Hispanic men are. A lot of the values of pop culture are extolling wealth, power, frankly, greed, not thinking about other people because you're so ruthless you're just looking out for yourself."