In Bolivia on Saturday (22 July) General Juan Pereda was sworn in as the country's new president -- less than twenty four hours after leading a military revolt against the government of former President Hugo banzer.
SV & CU People buying and reading newspapers. (4 SHOTS)
SV Church officials ask for calm.
GV Students demonstrating and shouting.
GV EXT Damaged building with broken windows. (2 SHOTS)
SCU Two girls looking on.
SV People demonstrating in street. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: In Bolivia on Saturday (22 July) General Juan Pereda was sworn in as the country's new president -- less than twenty four hours after leading a military revolt against the government of former President Hugo banzer. The coup took place almost two weeks after Bolivia's first general election in 12 years - in which General Pereda had been declared unofficial winner. Two days before the revolt, the election results were annulled. The move followed wide-spread allegations that fraud and intimidation had been used in favour of General Pereda. He himself also requested the annulment, saying all steps should be taken to prevent extremists from creating chaos.
SYNOPSIS: In La Paz on Thursday (20 July) newspapers carried reports of the annulment of the election results. General Pereda claimed the allegations of intimidation and fraud had been made by left-wing subversives. He called his nearest rival in the elections, Hernan Siles Zuazo, an agent of "international extremism".
Although there were a number of demonstrations throughout the country supporting different factions, there were no reports of violence or of shots being fired. As the day progressed the situation grew more confused. President Banzer declared a state of siege and suspended civil rights. The move was made to ensure peace and order. But, with reports of a rebellion spreading from Santa Cruz, General Banzer sent three ministers to the town to negotiate with General Pereda. After the meeting, General Pereda, who was backed by the military in the elections, assumed power.
He served as interior minister under President Banzer and has pledged to continue the nationalist policies launched during the previous military government.