Bolivia opposition leader declares herself president after Evo Morales’ resignation

An opposition figure in Bolivia's Senate declared herself the country’s interim president late Tuesday following the resignation of Evo Morales.

Jeanine Añez, a 52-year-old women’s rights activist and former television presenter, took control of the Senate on Tuesday, a move that puts her next in line for the presidency.

Jeanine Anez, the Senate's second vice president, flashes a peace sign as she gives a press conference at Congress in La Paz, Bolivia. 

Jeanine Anez, the Senate's second vice president, flashes a peace sign as she gives a press conference at Congress in La Paz, Bolivia.  (AP)

Lawmakers of Morales' Movement for Socialism party were not present when Añez made the announcement. Juan Cala of Morales' Movement for Socialism said the party wouldn’t participate because the assembly session is “illegal.”

Bolivia has been beset by violent protests in recent weeks, sparked by allegations of fraud in the Oct. 20 election that Morales claimed to have won.

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Morales, who was the country’s first indigenous president, stepped down Sunday at the "suggestion" of his country's military chief and went into hiding. His whereabouts were unknown after he claimed officials in Bolivia wanted him arrested – an allegation police have disputed.

Morales left Bolivia Tuesday after Mexico granted him asylum. Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard met Morales as he arrived at the capital's airport after a flight that was complicated by some countries' reluctance to let the plane use their airspace.

Morales’ supporters have likened his resignation to a coup d'etat – an assertion echoed by some Washington lawmakers.

It is unclear to what extent Bolivians will support Añez.

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Amid tears Monday, Añez told reporters she wanted to “give certainty” to Bolivians in place of a power vacuum. “I just want to provide a salutation to the horrible crisis that we’re living through.”

Fox News' Stephen Sorace and The Associated Press contributed to this report.