MEXICO CITY (AP) — Bolivia’s Evo Morales called for the United Nations, and possibly Pope Francis, to mediate in the Andean nation’s political crisis following his ouster as president in what he called a coup d’etat that forced him into exile in Mexico.
In an interview with The Associated Press Thursday in Mexico City, Morales said he is in fact still the president of Bolivia since the country’s Legislative Assembly has not yet accepted his resignation, which he presented Sunday at the urging of military leaders following weeks of protests against a re-election that his opponents called fraudulent.
“The assembly has to reject or approve the resignation” which it has not done, said the man who ruled Bolivia for almost 14 years as its first indigenous president. “If they don’t approve or reject it I can say that I am still president.”
Morales said he would return to Bolivia from Mexico, which has granted him political asylum, if that would contribute to his country’s pacification.
Political analyst Kathryn Ledebur of the nonprofit Andean Information Network in Bolivia, who has lived in the country for nearly 30 years, said Morales could have a case.
“A resignation letter has to be presented and considered, and accepted in the plenary before it goes into effect,” she said. “Do I think that Evo wants to return and be president – I don’t see that. But does he want to mess with them? Yes. He wants to keep them guessing.”
Two days after arriving in Mexico, Morales told the AP he has received information that some Bolivian army troops are planning to “rebel” against the officers who urged him to resign. But he gave no further specifics on how many were in on the plan, or how they would rebel.