Bolivian Senator Jeanine Añez, a leader of the nation's right-wing opposition party, declared herself interim president of the country Tuesday night despite lacking the constitutionally required number of lawmakers to approve her appointment.
As CNN reported, members of former President Evo Morales' leftist party did not attend the session Tuesday, leaving "the legislative chamber short of the legal minimum number of lawmakers required to appoint her."
"The Bible returns to the Palace," right-wing Senator Jeanine Áñez says after declaring herself President of #Bolivia w/out presence of MAS Senators, who make up 2/3 majority, so no quorum. They did not attend because they feared for their safety. Military roams streets of La Paz https://t.co/BUPNoxDQP2
— Ben Dangl (@bendangl) November 13, 2019
"A coupist right-wing senator calls herself president of the Senate and then interim president of Bolivia without a legislative quorum, surrounded by a group of accomplices and led by the armed forces and the police that repress the people," said Morales, who accepted asylum in Mexico.
According to the New York Times, "the military high command met with Ms. Añez for more than an hour at the government palace Tuesday night in what her aides described as a planning session to keep the peace. At the end of the meeting, pictures were released of the senior officers saluting Ms. Añez."
Earlier Tuesday, thousands of Morales supporters marched in opposition to the coup:
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) November 12, 2019
The Guardian reported that hundreds of Morales backers rallied near the Bolivian assembly building late Tuesday to denounce Añez's assumption of the presidency as illegitimate.
"She's declared herself president without having a quorum in the parliament," Morales supporter Julio Chipana told The Guardian. "She doesn't represent us."