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Russian diplomat compares developments in Bolivia to Ukrainian events

According to Maria Zakharova, the Organization of American States has not yet presented the results of a review of the October 20 vote count

MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. The political situation in Bolivia is reminiscent of the 2014 events in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook.

According to her, the Organization of American States (OAS) has not yet presented the results of a review of the October 20 vote count. "It means that no one knows the reasons why a presidential candidate was suspended," Zakharova noted.

OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro failed to provide evidence to prove that irregularities had occurred during the Bolivian presidential election, the Russian diplomat added. She pointed out that at an OAS meeting in Washington on November 13, Almagro had made allegations about vote manipulations in the Bolivian election. "These developments are reminiscent of the 2004 events in Ukraine, when the West refused to recognize the results of a runoff election. What is different is that in 2004, [President] Yanukovich did not leave Ukraine but accepted the rules of the game imposed by the Western countries and agreed to hold a third round of election, making it possible for them to drag Yushchenko to victory," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman emphasized.

Zakharova went on to say that "Bolivia’s Interim President" Jeanine Anez had announced plans to fully restore diplomatic relations with the United States and send an ambassador to Washington. In the Russian diplomat’s view, the move goes beyond the interim government’s authority, as well as its decisions to expel Venezuelan diplomats and withdraw from the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and the Union of South American Nations.

The Russian diplomat added that ten years back, Bolivian President Evo Morales had declared US Ambassador Philip Goldberg persona non grata, accusing him of plotting against the Bolivian government. "However, it did not save Bolivia from Washington’s interference and the implementation of a tried and tested scenario," Zakharova noted.

Political turbulence in Bolivia

A presidential election was held in Bolivia on October 20. The country's Supreme Electoral Court declared that incumbent President Evo Morales had won the vote. His main rival, former President Carlos Mesa, said that he did not recognize Morales' victory. After the results of the election had been announced, protests and strikes erupted across the South American country. Morales declared a state of emergency and accused the opposition of attempting to stage a coup.

On November 10, Morales announced his resignation, branding the recent developments as a coup d’etat. He stepped down following the demands of the country’s armed forces, opposition and trade unions.

On November 12, Morales arrived in Mexico, accepting an offer of political asylum. Meanwhile, the second vice president of Bolivia’s Senate, Jeanine Anez, declared herself interim president. The country’s Constitutional Court confirmed the legality of the transfer of power.