Evo Morales made history in Bolivia when he became the country's first indigenous president in 2006. He was hugely popular and introduced sweeping social reforms and economic growth.

But it all ended for the 60-year-old this week when he resigned and fled to Mexico, following weeks of protests and a request from the military for him to step down.

Morales and his supporters have said he was the victim of a coup while critics have said he was forced out by his own people because of a fraudulent election.

Ian Vasquez, a Latin America expert at the Cato Institute, is adamant that it was not a coup.

"This is the story of an authoritarian regime that people in Bolivia got sick of, and they did what they could to get their democracy back," Vasquez said.

Mark Weisbrot, codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research who studies Bolivia, says Morales was clearly the victim of a coup because he was a democratically elected president who was asked to resign by the military.

At the centre of the debate is Bolivia's October election. The Organization of American States (OAS), which had observers on the ground, expressed concern over irregularities, manipulation and security flaws. That includes a nearly 24-hour pause in results, ending with a surge of votes for Morales, enough to avoid a runoff election.

Weisbrot rejects the claims that the election was fraudulent. He says results from pro-Morales regions simply took longer to come in than other areas. He also casts doubt on the OAS, saying they are not neutral actors.

"I think the OAS misrepresented it deliberately because they said it three times, they never offered any evidence of that story," said Weisbrot.

In this week's Arena, we debate the political crisis that led Bolivia's President Evo Morales to resign.

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Source: Al Jazeera News