Bolivian army invokes special plan to safeguard key state functions amid political crisis

Mexico City, Nov 12: The Bolivian army’s command announced on Monday that it had invoked a special plan across the country to ensure the functioning of the key state structures amid the political crisis. “From now on, throughout the country, our army units have launched plan ‘Sebastian Pagador,’ which aims to safeguard the key functions of the state to ensure its work, peace and stability in the country,” the command said in a statement, posted on Twitter by the Bolivia TV broadcaster. The unrest in Bolivia erupted in the wake of the October 20 presidential election. The electoral authorities said that then-incumbent leader Evo Morales had secured a new term in the first round, while opposition refused to recognize the results of the vote. Morales finally stepped down on Sunday after the national armed forces had urged him to do so amid the ongoing unrest. The army de facto sided with protesters even though Morales pledged earlier that same day to call new elections and reshuffle the electoral board after the preliminary report of the Organization of American States found “grave” irregularities in the vote. His offer was not supported by the opposition, which demanded he abandon the post.
After the resignation of Morales and other top officials, the power is expected to be officially assumed by the opposition vice speaker of the senate, Jeanine Anez. Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico and Nicaragua have described the events in Bolivia – accompanied by violent rallies, attacks on officials, arson incidents and occupation of buildings – as a coup. Russia has similarly said that the opposition’s steps resembled an “orchestrated coup.”