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

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.