Bolivian president offers to quit

Bolivia's Congress is expected to decide who should succeed President Carlos Mesa after he announced he was stepping down amid angry protests demanding nationalisation of the country's gas industry.

    Carlos Mesa had been president for the past 20 months

    "It is my responsibility to say that this is as far as I can go," Mesa said on national television late on Monday, holding back tears.

     

    "For that reason my decision is to offer my resignation from my post as president of the republic," he added, asking protesters to allow Congress to debate his successor.

     

    "The solution to our problems must be based on the interests of all," he said.

     

    Mesa took on the presidency 20 months ago after his predecessor, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, was driven from office, also by demonstrations over control of Bolivia's gas reserves.

     

    Successor

     

    Congress President Hormando Vaca Diaz called for a meeting on Tuesday to elect Mesa's successor, in line with the constitution.

     

    Diaz is next in the line of succession, followed by the speaker of the House of Deputies, Mario Cossio, and Supreme Court President Eduardo Rodriguez, who has the only legal right to call for new elections.

     

    Because of the protests in La Paz, Vaca Diaz said he and other congressional leaders were considering alternative venues for lawmakers to meet, including Sucre or Santa Cruz.

     

    Opposition leaders were sceptical of Mesa's announcement, recalling that on 7 March he also tendered his resignation only to have Congress reject it a few hours later.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    From Cameroon to US-Mexico border: 'We saw corpses along the way'

    'We saw corpses along the way'

    Kombo Yannick is one of the many African asylum seekers braving the longer Latin America route to the US.