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Bolivian Military Calls on President Morales to Resign

© AP Photo / Juan KaritaPolice against the reelection of President Evo Morales stand on the rooftop of a police station just meters away from the presidential palace in La Paz
Police against the reelection of President Evo Morales stand on the rooftop of a police station just meters away from the presidential palace in La Paz - Sputnik International
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The Bolivian Armed Forces on Sunday called on President Evo Morales to step down as a means of securing the stability of a nation that has been hit by violent unrest since October.
"After analyzing the internal conflict situation, we ask the President of the State to renounce his presidential mandate, allowing for peace to be restored and the maintenance of stability for the good of Bolivia", the commander of the country's armed forces, Williams Kaliman said, cited by Reuters.

Unconfirmed reports circulated Sunday alleging that Morale's plane had requested a flight plan to Argentina. Footage of an alleged escape was shared earlier on Twitter, depicting a small jet purportedly taking off from El Alto airport in La Paz.

Protests in the country have been ongoing since 20 October, after Bolivian President Evo Morales secured a new term in a hotly-contested presidential election. The rallies quickly morphed into unrest, accompanied by incidents of arson and the occupation of buildings, including offices of the state-owned media.

Earlier on Sunday, the Bolivian Armed Forces ordered the elimination of illegal armed groups operating in the country amid the ongoing unrest. The command noted that only the armed forces and the national police are authorized to carry weapons, in line with national law. 

Morales earlier described opposition demands for his resignation as a coup attempt. The incumbent Bolivian president has, however, not yet responded to the demands of the nation's armed forces. Morales earlier promised pay raises for police who had defected to the protesters' side, and called for another presidential election while pledging to reshuffle the electoral board.

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