The Bolivian interim President, Jeanine Anez, has on Sunday, January 26, requested all her ministers to reaign, two days after she announced her intention to stand in the May 3 presidential election and just hours after her Communications Minister presented her resignation over such decision.
A little-known senator before becoming the interim President, Anez assumed the presidency on November 12, 2019, two days after former President, Evo Morales, resigned from office following three weeks of sometimes violent protests against his controversial re-election in an election the Organization of American States said was rigged.
Anez, at the time, had said she had no intention of standing for the full-time job, but all that changed when she announced her candidacy last Friday.
In a statement issued by the Presidency, Anez “has decided to ask for the resignation of all ministers to approach this new stage in the management of the democratic transition.”
The statement added that it was “usual” in an electoral cycle to have “adjustments in the working team of the Executive.”
Anez said she would name a new cabinet of 20 ministers “as soon as possible.”
Hours earlier before the resignation request, Lizarraga, who was appointed by Anez on November 13, criticized the interim president for having “lost sight of her objectives.”
She said Anez had “started to fall into the same evils” as the party of her predecessor, Morales, adding, “This is not the path the citizenry has signalled to us.”
Meanwhile, Anez has faced massive criticism for going back on her initial commitment not to run for president.
Former President Carlos Mesa, aged 66 said, “I respect President Anez, but I think she’s making a big mistake, because she has not been appointed to propose herself as a candidate for the presidency.”
Former presidential candidate, Samuel Doria Medina voiced his opposition, just as former President Morales, who is in exile in Argentina, reminded his successor that “she promised not to be a candidate,” adding that “although it is her right.”
Meanwhile, there are doubts about the legality of Anez contesting the election, as lawmaker, Luis Felipe Dorado, declared that he would consult the Constitutional Court.
Anez came only fourth on 12 percent, in an opinion poll published on Sunday. The opinion was led by the presidential candidate of Morales’s Movement for Socialism, MAS, Luis Arce, with 26 percent.
The survey, by Mercados y Muestras and published in the Pagina Siete newspaper, was conducted before the party had announced the name of its candidate, former economy minister, Luis Arce.
“In all the polls we are first,” Morales tweeted in reaction, adding: “We are ready to beat the coup and regain the homeland.”
Parties have until February 3 to register their candidates.