The resignation of Bolivian president Evo Morales was met with varied reactions from countries in the surrounding region.
Morales stepped down Sunday under increasing pressure from anti-government demonstrations as well as the military.
The 60-year-old socialist leader faced the biggest crisis of his nearly 14 years as president after winning a fourth term in October. Ensuing protests left three people dead.
Morales was first elected in 2006, making him the first indigenous president of Bolivia. His election to the post was part of a left-wing surge in the region.
Earlier Sunday, Morales had agreed to holding a new election after a report by the Organization of American States said it found irregularities in last month’s election.
But the country’s military chief still asked him to step down.
Police join protesters as Bolivia’s president calls it ‘coup attempt’
Mexico has offered asylum to Morales. Mexico’s foreign minister tweeted that the country would offer asylum to Morales if requested. He also tweeted that there must be “no coup.”
Mexico’s president Manual Lopez Obrador tweeted that his country recognizes the “responsible attitude” shown by Morales as he “preferred to resign rather than to expose his people to violence.”
Venezuela has condemned what it terms a “coup” in Bolivia, with President Nicolas Maduro calling for allies around the world to “mobilize” and protect Morales.
“We categorically condemn the coup realized against our brother president,” Maduro tweeted.
Morales is viewed as a leftist ally for Venezuela, whose former president Hugo Chavez was an occasional mentor to the now-resigned Bolivian president.
Venezuela has been embroiled in a long-running crisis of its own, with Maduro hanging on to power despite an opposition campaign to convince the armed forces to rebel.
Bolivia protests: Riot police fire tear gas at protesters calling for Morales’ resignation
Shortly after Morales stepped down, the Peruvian government issued a statement calling for the restoration of a “peaceful existence” in Bolivia and for transparent elections aided by the Organization of American States.
Argentina’s president-elect Alberto Fernandez declared Morales’ resignation was the result of a “coup.”
“The institutional breakdown in Bolivia is unacceptable. The Bolivian people must choose as soon as possible, in free and informed elections, their next government,” Fernandez wrote on Twitter.
The president of Cuba — Miguel Diaz-Canel — tweeted Cuba’s “strong condemnation” of what he also termed a “coup” against Morales.
The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, took to Twitter to share his reaction to Morales’ resignation.
“Denunciations of election fraud resulted in the resignation of President Evo Morales,” he tweeted. “The lesson for us is the need, in the name of democracy and transparency, to count votes that can be audited. The VOTE is a sign of clarity for Brazil!”
In a statement issued Sunday, the government of Nicaragua — headed by leftist President Daniel Ortega — also called Morales’ resignation the result of a “coup” — one they roundly denounced.
“The Government of Nicaragua … denounces and strongly condemns the coup d’etat that was realized today,” the statement said.
“We express our rejection and repudiation of fascist practices that ignore the constitution, laws and institutionalism that govern the democratic life of nations.”
In a statement issued by the foreign ministry on Sunday, Chile’s government expressed concerns about Bolivia’s interrupted electoral process. Chile called for a peaceful and swift solution.
Bolivia is a landlocked country of around 11 million people in South America, sharing borders with Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, and Chile.
— With files by Reuters, The Associated Press
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