02:09 GMT +306 December 2019
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    Ex-Head of Bolivian Senate: No One Wants a Civil War

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    Sputnik has spoken to former Head of the Bolivian Senate Adriana Salvatierra, who left office after the resignation of Evo Morales, to discuss the situation in the country.

    Morales resigned on 10 November. After the departure of Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera and Head of the Chamber of Deputies Victor Borda, it was Adriana Salvatierra who acted as President of Bolivia without officially taking office. In fact, she was president for several hours. On the evening of 10 November, Salvatierra announced her resignation as Chair of the Senate.

    On 12 November, second Vice Speaker of the Bolivian Senate Jeanine Áñez assumed the duty of the President of Bolivia.

    "Jeanine's taking office is the last echo of the coup d'état that started with the actions of the military and the police. They aimed to take away the mandate from President Evo Morales", Salvatierra told Sputnik.
    A supporter of former President Evo Morales in La Paz
    © AP Photo / Natacha Pisarenko
    A supporter of former President Evo Morales in La Paz
    "The military is in the streets; they kill people, illegally detain public leaders and interfere with the work of Parliament. This is a coup", the senator emphasised.

    Speaking about the violence in the country's streets, Salvatierra expressed hope that what is happening won't escalate into a civil war.

    "Nobody wants this", the politician stressed. She hopes that peace and stability will reign in the country, and guarantees of democracy will be restored.

    Salvatierra is a member of the party Movement to Socialism (MAS), led by Morales.

    According to the politician, "if Senator Áñez wants to become president, she should do it in the manner prescribed by the Constitution, (…) rather than convene a Senate meeting and not hold it with 9-10 people present, while MAS has two-thirds of the Senatorial seats".

    Salvatierra emphasised that she stepped down from office "under pressure", but recalled that the Senate should have taken this into account.

    "The Senators Chamber should accept or reject my resignation. This hasn't been done. They haven't even tried. I’m still a senator", she told Sputnik.

    The politician considers the opposition's attempt to prevent Morales from participating in a new presidential election a "pure violation": "This is an attempt to limit citizens' constitutional suffrage".

    On 13 November, Salvatierra and other socialist senators were prevented from attending a meeting of the upper house of Parliament.

    "At first, we were told that a bomb might have been planted in the building. Later, they completely blocked our passage. A reinforced police squad was punching left, right and centre; they closed the passage and fired tear gas", the senator said.

    According to her, representatives of the MAS faction don't go to work, not because they don't want to, but because they are being prevented from doing so "by these repressions".

    The politician showed her bruised arms and herself in a blouse torn during the conflict.

    © AP Photo / Marco Ugarte
    Bolivia's former President Evo Morales at a press conference at the Museum of Mexico City

    In a video message posted on Twitter, Salvatierra announced that she was starting a struggle to restore democracy after a coup in the country.

    On Twitter, the politician is being still called "the Chairperson of the Chamber of Senators of the Plurinational State of Bolivia".

    Salvatierra took up the position as head of the House of Senators on 18 January 2019 at the age of 29, becoming the youngest Senate Chairperson in the history of Bolivia.

    Views and opinions, expressed in the article are those of Adriana Salvatierra and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Tags:
    Jeanine Anez, civil war, Evo Morales, coup d'etat, Bolivia
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