There've been celebrations in Bolivia by opponents of former President Juan Pereda Asbun, who was ousted in a bloodless coup on Friday (24 November).
There've been celebrations in Bolivia by opponents of former President Juan Pereda Asbun, who was ousted in a bloodless coup on Friday (24 November). Just four months after General Pereda himself took power, he was replaced by the Army commander, General David Padilla Arancibia.
SYNOPSIS: In the streets of a La Paz, the capital, people were calm and there was evidence of widespread public support for the new regime. Many shops and businesses remained closed, some as a precaution against violence but mostly to express support for the coup. Workers gathered around troops on patrol to hear the latest information.
Armoured vehicles were in evidence, but President David Padilla Arancibia allowed political activity to continue. Under the former regime an opposition rally had been banned.
Under the new regime the rally went ahead -- but with a different purpose. It turned into a demonstration of support for General Padilla.
Thousands of members of the left-wing Popular Democratic Unity coalition, the U.D.P., turned out to listen to speeches backing the new government.
Only the day before the political opposition to General Pereda had considered going underground because of fears of imminent repression.
There was a big welcome for the U.D.P leader, Dr. Siles Suazo, who said his coalition gave total backing to the new government after receiving guarantees of a swift return to constitutional government. President Padilla says power will be handed over to the winners of a general election next August after 14 years of military rule.
Dr. Suazo could be the next freely elected President, if the elections go ahead as promised. In elections go ahead as promised. In elections held last July he was the leading opposition candidate, but failed to win because of fraudulent methods employed on behalf of General Pereda.