Bolivia’s interim President Jeanine Anez asked all her ministers to resign a little more than three months before a general election, a statement from the presidency said on Sunday, reports BSS/AFP. The news came just hours after communication minister Roxana Lizarraga resigned in protest at Anez’s decision to stand as a presidential candidate in the May 3 election.
When assuming the interim presidency on November 12, Anez had said she had no intention of standing for the full-time job. But that changed on Friday when she announced her candidacy. Anez ‘has decided to ask for the resignation of all ministers to approach this new stage in the management of the democratic transition,’ said the presidency’s statement.
The statement added that it was ‘usual’ in an electoral cycle to have ‘adjustments in the working team of the Executive.’ Hours earlier, Lizarraga, who was appointed by Anez on November 13, criticized the interim president for having ‘lost sight of her objectives.’
Lizarraga said Anez had ‘started to fall into the same evils’ as the party of her predecessor Evo Morales, who resigned on November 10 following three weeks of at times violent protests against his controversial re-election in an October poll that the Organization of American States said was rigged. ‘This is not the path the citizenry has signalled to us,’ said Lizarraga.
Anez came only fourth on 12 percent in an opinion poll published on Sunday that was led by Morales’s Movement for Socialism (MAS) candidate with 26 percent. MAS headed the survey by Mercados y Muestras and published in the Pagina Siete newspaper, which was conducted before the party had announced the name of its candidate, former economy minister Luis Arce.
Anez said she will name a new cabinet of 20 ministers ‘as soon as possible.’