The resignation of Bolivias socialist leader Evo Morales, who had been the countrys president for 13 years, is a “significant moment for democracy,” said President Donald Trump in a statement on Monday.
Morales resignation came after weeks of protests following the South American countrys elections in October.
“After nearly 14 years and his recent attempt to override the Bolivian constitution and the will of the people, Moraless departure preserves democracy and paves the way for the Bolivian people to have their voices heard,” Trump said in a statement.
Trump noted that the events in Bolivia, including Morales departure, will “send a strong signal to the illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua that democracy and the will of the people will always prevail. We are now one step closer to a completely democratic, prosperous, and free Western Hemisphere.”
Morales was criticized for manipulating Bolivias laws and constitution so that he could run for president a fourth time. In October, he declared he won the elections despite accusations of voter fraud, the BBC noted.
Following weeks of protests, Bolivias army chief, General Williams Kaliman, urged Morales to resign “to allow for pacification and the maintaining of stability,” the BBC reported.
On Sunday, during a televised speech, Morales said he would resign but said he is the victim of a “civic coup,” Reuters reported.
“I am resigning, sending my letter of resignation to the Legislative Assembly,” Morales added. He said it was also his “obligation as indigenous president and president of all Bolivians to seek peace.” Vice President Alvaro García Linera resigned as well.
His socialist allies in Latin America, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Argentine President-elect Alberto Fernandez, described the move as a “coup,” said Reuters. Nicaraguas government, ruled by far-left leader Daniel Ortega, also claimed that “fascist practices” were at play during Morales resignation.