Bolivian Sen. Jeanine Áñez declares herself interim president
Jeanine Áñez. Photo by Javier Mamani/Getty Images)
A senior U.S. State Department official welcomed conservative Bolivian opposition Sen. Jeanine Áñez's declaration Tuesday that she's the country's interim president following the departure of Evo Morales.
Why it matters: Former President Evo Morales left Bolivia in a political vacuum after resigning amid protests against his disputed October election win. There were clashes between his supporters and anti-Morales protesters on the streets of the capital when he left for Mexico on Monday night after accepting the country's offer of political asylum.
"Acting Senate President Añez has assumed responsibilities of Interim Constitutional President of Bolivia. We look forward to working with her & Bolivia’s other civilian authorities as they arrange free & fair elections as soon as possible, in accordance w/ Bolivia’s constitution."— Michael Kozak, acting assistant secretary for U.S. State Department's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
What's happening: Bolivia's Constitutional Court endorsed Áñez's declaration, which lawmakers from Morales' party object, per the BBC, which reports that the exiled leader reacted to the news by calling her "a coup-mongering right-wing senator."
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.
Go deeper: Bolivia unrest: What you need to know