Bible in Tow, Jeanine Añez Assumes Presidency in Bolivia

ChurchLeaders | 11/15/2019 | Staff
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In what indigenous groups are calling a right-wing military coup, opposition lawmaker and conservative Christian Jeanine Añez declared herself Bolivia’s interim president this week. The move followed the forced resignation of longtime socialist leader Evo Morales, who sought asylum in Mexico.

Bolivia, South America’s poorest country, held presidential elections October 20, but the Organization of American States found “clear manipulation” of the vote. Morales, in office since 2006, disputes that report, and his supporters have been demonstrating for weeks. So far, eight protesters have been killed in clashes with military police.

Morales - Bolivia - Leader - Christianity - Palace

Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous leader, criminalized evangelical Christianity and banned the Bible from the presidential palace. Despite claiming to be Catholic, he also worked to remove Catholicism as the country’s official faith.

Jeanine Añez, a legislative opponent of Morales’ Movement for Socialism party, claimed the role of Senate leader on Tuesday. Though she wasn’t sworn in, she then assumed Bolivia’s presidency, appearing on the palace balcony with a large Bible. “The Bible has returned to the government palace,” she told supporters. “My commitment is to return democracy and tranquility to the country. They can never again steal our vote.”

Añez - Predecessor - Rule - Regime - Morales

Añez, 52, called her predecessor’s rule a “totalitarian regime.” Although Morales’ party holds a two-thirds majority in Bolivia’s parliament, lawmakers who support the exiled...
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