The fallout of Evo Morales’ resignation as Bolivian president continues today.
Morales, who led Bolivia for 13 years, resigned on Sunday amid intense protests over last month’s election results, which many suspected to be fraudulent.
The immediate challenge for Bolivia is to find a president in the interim. However, the individuals in the line of succession according to the constitution—the vice president, leader of the senate, then leader of the lower house—have resigned. This means there could be a power vacuum in Bolivia at a time when it needs to organise another election within 90 days and replace the electoral commission.
Longer-term, Bolivian politics will likely be highly fragmented because of this crisis. Morales’ Movement for Socialism party has held a parliamentary majority throughout his reign, allowing him to easily implement social policies. With his party’s leadership resigning and another election soon, the door will be open for new parties from across the political spectrum to stake a claim in Bolivia’s next parliament.
A fragmented parliament will make it difficult for Bolivia’s next leader to unify the country and address pressing economic challenges, including a high budget deficit and overreliance on natural gas exports.
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Alex is a senior analyst in the Current Developments team with a primary focus on the Americas. He also serves as an editor on The Daily Brief.