LA PAZ (Reuters) – Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Sunday he would resign after the military called on him to step down and allies deserted him following weeks of protests over a disputed election that has roiled the South American nation.
Morales, in power for nearly 14 years, said in televised comments that he would submit his resignation letter to help restore stability, though he aimed barbs at what he called a “civic coup.”
“I am resigning, sending my letter of resignation to the Legislative Assembly,” Morales said, adding that it was his “obligation as indigenous president and president of all Bolivians to seek peace.”
He later tweeted, “I want the Bolivian people to know that I have no reason to escape, they should prove if I’m stealing something.”
Vice President Álvaro García Linera also resigned.
The departure of Morales, a leftist icon and the last survivor of Latin America’s “pink tide” of two decades ago, is likely to send shockwaves across the region at a time when left-leaning leaders have returned to power in Mexico and Argentina.
Some of Morales’ leftist allies in Latin America decried the turn of events as a “coup,” including Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Argentine President-elect Alberto Fernandez.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said his country would offer Morales asylum if he sought it.