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Russia will recognise legitimate authorities in Bolivia only after elections – Zakharova

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Russia said that a legitimate government in Bolivia could be recognised only after elections were held in the crisis-hit Latin American country.

The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said this on Thursday at a weekly news briefing.

“We assess the situation in Bolivia as the situation where the elections must be held.

“And after that we can talk about the legitimate authorities,” she said.

Bolivia plunged into political crisis following the presidential election on Oct. 20, which saw Evo Morales secure his fourth term in office.

However, the opposition refused to accept the vote results, citing alleged irregularities in vote-counting procedures, which were subsequently confirmed by the Organisation of American States.

The developments prompted mass protests that soon turned violent.

The Bolivian armed forces joined in on the calls for Morales to step down, saying this was necessary to ensure order in the country.

Morales, who ruled Bolivia for almost 13 years, resigned on Sunday and left for Mexico on Tuesday after being granted political asylum there.

Senate deputy speaker Jeanine Anez, a member of the opposition, has taken over as interim president.

However, Morales on Wednesday rejected the self-proclaimed presidency of an opposition senator, but police barred his lawmakers from entering the legislature to undo it, deepening the political crisis in South America’s poorest country.

Supporters of Morales returned to the streets and clashed with security forces, who responded with tear gas.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has recognised Anez as interim president of Bolivia.

Acting Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Michael Kozak wrote Twitter on Wednesday that “Acting Senate President Anez has assumed responsibilities of Interim Constitutional President of Bolivia.

“We look forward to working with her (Anez) and Bolivia’s other civilian authorities as they arrange free and fair elections as soon as possible, in accordance with Bolivia’s Constitution.”

Earlier, the U.S. State Department authorised the evacuation of family members of U.S. government employees working in Bolivia and had put the country on the red “do not travel” list amid the tense situation in the country. (Sputnik/NAN)

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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