After fleeing his home and resigning from his post Sunday, former Bolivian President Evo Morales resurfaced Monday on Twitter to encourage his supporters to resist the formation of a transitional government. “You never abandoned me and I will never abandon you,” Morales posted from an unknown location. “The world and patriotic Bolivians will repudiate this coup.” The socialist’s re-emergence came as Jeanine Añez Chavez, a leading opposition politician, said she was ready to take power until a new election was held. Chavez is the Bolivian senate’s second vice president and appeared to be next in line of succession for the presidency on Monday. Morales’ vice president and the senate leader have resigned, and a lower-house leader previously stepped down. The AP reported that 20 members of Bolivia’s executive and legislative branches arrived at the official Mexican residence in La Paz late Sunday to seek asylum.
The United States has called on Bolivia’s civilian leadership to maintain political control amid reports of a coup and violence against leadership in the capital La Paz. “It is crucial that the constitutionally delineated civilian leadership maintain control during the transition,”a U.S. State Department official said Monday. “We call on everyone to refrain from violence during this tense time and we will continue to work with our international partners to ensure that Bolivia’s democracy and constitutional order endure.” Morales’ resignation followed 14 years in power. When he claimed victory after the Oct. 20 election, three people were killed and hundreds injured in subsequent protests.