Bolivia’s President Evo Morales resigned on Sunday amid outcry over alleged electoral fraud and ongoing violent protests over his re-election.
In a televised address, 60-year-old Morales said he was resigning ‘for the good’ of the country, citing concerns on attacks on his house and senior members of his government.
The socialist leader said he was the victim of a coup.
Weeks of protests have shaken the South American country – leaving at least three dead.
Deputy Head of the Senate Jeanine Áñez has agreed to take over as interim President until new elections are held, while Mexico has offered asylum to Morales.
The news comes hours after the Organisation of American States (OAS) said it would not certify the results of the presidential election, saying it had found evidence of data manipulation.
Morales was in fact not eligible to run for a fourth consecutive term.
In the 2016 referendum, Bolivians had overwhelmingly rejected his plans to drop the limit of term numbers that Bolivians could serve. But Morales took the case to the country’s constitutional court, which scrapped presidential term limits, paving the way for him to run for president again.
The final result of the election gave Evo Morales slightly more than the 10% lead that he was badly needed to win outright in the first round of the race.
Reports say that Morales had no option but to resign, as even the country’s military had taken side with protestors and called on him to step down. The protests have claimed more than three lives, with many houses of Morales’ allies being burnt.