Opposition leader Jeanine Anez Chavez will become Bolivia’s interim leader today and will be assuming administrative control of the country at least until the next election.
Her appointment was made possible due to the resignations of President Evo Morales and Vice President Alvaro Garcia on Sunday after pressure from the country’s defence chief in light of mass protests against the disputed results of the October presidential election.
According to the national constitution, Victor Borda, the president of the lower house of parliament, Adriana Salvatierra, president of the upper house, and her deputy Ruben Medinaceli were in line to succeed the president. But all three have stepped down as well, automatically clearing the way for Anez as second vice president of the Senate to assume office.
- Anez, 52, has a degree in juridical sciences and law, and has worked as a lawyer.
- She is married to Hector Carvajal, a Colombian politician.
- In 2006, she joined the Constituent Assembly that helped draft Bolivia’s current constitution.
- Convening that assembly was one of Evo Morales’ key campaign promises. The document came into effect in 2009, it recognised Bolivia as a secular state for the first time in the country’s history, empowered the autonomy of indigenous people, and curbed private land ownership.
- In 2010, Anez assumed office as senator for the north-eastern department of Beni. At the time, she was aligned with PPB-CN, a right-wing coalition that became the largest opposition political party in parliament following the 2009 elections.
- The coalition ceased to exist in 2014, and Anez joined the Democrat Socialist Movement in the general election held that year.
- She is known as a staunch opponent of Evo Morales. She called him a “tyrant” as police clashed with anti-government protesters last week, and called for his resignation.
- The senator said on Monday that the only objective of her interim government is to secure a fresh presidential vote, after the October election was marred by accusations of vote-rigging.
- “I have to comply with the country, it's about calling for new elections, it's just a transition stage,” she stated.