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Trump says Morales’ resignation warning sign to others

Trump says Morales’ resignation warning sign to others'These events send a strong signal to the illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua,' says US president.

The resignation of Bolivian President Evo Morales should serve as a warning sign to other regional leaders at loggerheads with the U.S., President Donald Trump said Monday.

"These events send a strong signal to the illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua that democracy and the will of the people will always prevail," Trump said in a statement in which he hailed Morales' departure as moving towards a "completely democratic, prosperous, and free Western Hemisphere."

"Morales’s departure preserves democracy and paves the way for the Bolivian people to have their voices heard. The United States applauds the Bolivian people for demanding freedom and the Bolivian military for abiding by its oath to protect not just a single person, but Bolivia’s constitution," he added.

In Bolivia’s Oct. 20 presidential polls, Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, gained 47.8% of the vote, securing victory in the first round. But when the opposition claimed fraud, some parties urged supporters to take to the streets.

After the opposition called for the polls to be cancelled, Morales announced there would be new elections, but opposition supporters said they would continue protests until an election was held without him.

On Sunday, in a televised address, Bolivian Army chief Williams Kaliman called on Morales to step down.

Morales said a "coup" had been carried out against him, and he resigned to prevent opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho and Carlos Mesa, a former president, from issuing further instructions to their supporters to attack Bolivians.

Morales had served as president since 2006. On February 21, 2016, a referendum was held to reform article 168 of the State Constitution, which allows only a re-election of a president and vice president. The options of the referendum were "Yes" and "No": The results were in favor of "No", so there was no such reform. However, Evo Morales used another resource, approved by the Plurinational Constitutional Court (TCP), to register for the 2019 presidential elections.

The rules establish that if no candidate reached 50% of the valid votes or - having exceeded 40% - had a difference of 10% or more over the second, the eventual ballotage for the presidential election would have taken place on 15 December 2019. Evo Morales' Movimiento al Socialismo obtained 47.08% of the votes, while Carlos Mesa's Comunidad Ciudadana received 36.51%. This way, a ballotage was avoided. However, a report made by the Organization of American States (OAS) confirmed irregularities in the vote count.


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