A 56-year old left-wing politician Mrs Lidia Gueiler, has taken over as president of Bolivia.?
A 56-year old left-wing politician Mrs Lidia Gueiler, has taken over as president of Bolivia. She was unanimously elected by the National Congress after five days of negotiations between politicians and the armed forces. Colonel Alberto Natusch who took power in a coup on November 1 had earlier proposed a triumvirate of the military, Parliament and the Labour movement to rule the country. But this proposal ran into opposition in the streets of La Paz.
SYNOPSIS: The banks of La Paz were closed on the day (November 15) that the latest of many street demonstrations was planned. Violence has been frequent int he two weeks since Colonel Natusch led a coup against Bolivia's first civilian government in ten years.
More than two hundred people have died since the coup, but the mock coffin carried by the students, with support from trade union members, also symbolised the fate of Colonel Natusch's proposal for a triumvirate. The proposal failed after the labour movement rejected it.
The students and trade unionists who marched in the streets had allies in Parliament, where there was also considerable opposition to the military rule. And after the Bolivian Workers' Federation rejected the plan for a triumvirate, the armed forces were also reported to be in agreement on the return to power to Parliament.
With what began to appear to be almost unanimous opposition among most major groups, Colonel Natusch told a news conference he would leave the future of the country in the hands of the Congress.
Since 1931 Bolivia has had 29 presidents, 17 of them from the military. Mrs Guelier becomes the twelfth civilian in the office and after Maria Estela Peron of Argentina only the second woman president in the world.