5-speed listening (Bolivia - Level 6)

Bolivian senator declares herself acting president



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Bolivia has a new leader. She is opposition senator Jeanine Áñez, who has declared herself interim president following the resignation of former-president Evo Morales on Sunday. Ms Áñez said she was next in line to be president under Bolivia's constitution and vowed to hold elections as soon as possible. She said: "I assume the presidency immediately and will do everything necessary to pacify the country." Lawmakers endorsed Ms Áñez's appointment but senators from Mr Morales' socialist party boycotted the vote. Morales' allies branded Ms Áñez as, "a coup-mongering right-wing senator". Mr Morales condemned what he called a takeover as being the, "sneakiest, most nefarious coup in history".

Mr Morales has fled to Mexico, saying he was in fear for his life had he stayed in Bolivia. He released a photo on Twitter of himself having to sleep on a concrete floor under a blanket at an undisclosed location before fleeing to Mexico by private jet to seek asylum. He said he had been forced to stand down but had done so willingly, "to ensure there would be no more bloodshed". Morales stepped down at the weekend following weeks of social turmoil and violent protests. Bolivians took to the streets over allegations of election fraud during a presidential election in October. He tweeted: "It pains me to leave Bolivia for political reasons, but I'll always be concerned. I'll return soon, with more strength and energy."

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