United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has urged all concerned parties in Bolivia to “refrain from violence, reduce tension and exercise maximum restraint” in the wake of the resignation of President Evo Morales earlier on Sunday.
“Secretary-General remains deeply concerned about the situation in Bolivia and takes note of recent developments, including the resignation of President Evo Morales,” said a statement issued by a UN spokesperson.
Urging all parties to refrain from violence, reduce tension and exercise maximum restraint, the UN chief called on all actors to abide by international law, notably fundamental human rights principles.
“The Secretary-General also appeals to all actors to commit to achieving a peaceful resolution of the current crisis and to ensuring transparent and credible elections,” the statement concluded.
President Morales’ resignation was preceded by several weeks of mass protests that began after the opposition and some civic movements denounced alleged fraud in a 20 October presidential vote in favor of Mr. Morales, which would have given him a fourth consecutive term.
According to news reports, three Bolivians have died and more than 100 have been injured during clashes between Morales supporters and opposition protesters since the disputed election. The Organization of American States (OAS) released a report at the weekend saying that its audit had revealed major irregularities during the poll.
With governments across the region weighing in on whether the President had been forced to step down following military or civilian pressure, the UN chief also called for “respect for state and local institutions, as well as the inviolability of diplomatic missions.”