(CNN Spanish) – The Bolivian Attorney General’s Office accused former President Jeanine Áñez Chávez on Tuesday of assuming the presidency in an “unconstitutional manner” and without complying with the laws of her country, when she governed for a year as of November 2019.
The announcement was made at a press conference by the coordinator of the attorney general, Edwin Quispe, who highlighted that the Bolivian Public Ministry has more than 70 evidence to prosecute Áñez, in the case called “Coup d’état II.”
The documents presented indicate that Áñez allegedly assumed the presidency of the Senate and then the State illegally on November 12, 2019, having not followed the procedure to consider the resignations of the corresponding authorities.
However, given the resignations of then-President Evo Morales, Vice President Álvaro García Linera, Senate President Adriana Salvatierra Arriaza and First Vice President Rubén Medinaceli Ortiz, Áñez was the next link in the presidential succession (although he did not openly establish it).
Áñez assumes the protection of article 169 of the Bolivian Constitution. There the order of succession is established in the event of “impediment or definitive absence of the President of the State” and determines that in such a situation it would correspond to the Vice President to assume the Presidency. But in Bolivia there was no vice president either, so in his absence the president of the Senate had to take office, who also resigned. He would then be followed by the president of the Chamber of Deputies, whose head also resigned.
After this, the Bolivian Congress tried to meet to name Áñez president of the Senate and thus be able to assume the position of interim president. After closing the session without obtaining results, the senator went to another room where she assumed the presidency of the country.
Áñez, of the Democratic Unity Party, declared herself president despite the lack of a quorum.
Later, and to settle the controversy, the Plenipotentiary Constitutional Court of Bolivia stated that the application of constitutional succession was “in accordance with the text and meaning of the Constitution.”
Áñez, 54, was held in preventive detention in March for four months. However, since then she has been held in a prison in La Paz without being tried by the Bolivian authorities.
CNN contacted Luis Adolfo Guillén, Áñez’s legal representative, who indicated that an ordinary court is not responsible for resolving a matter of constitutional interpretation such as a presidential succession. The lawyer added that there is a “lack of evidence to support an accusation.”
In a message published on her Twitter account, Áñez herself published: “Without evidence and 8 months in detention for ‘terrorism’, prosecutors ACCUSE # JeanineAñez and other political prisoners of ‘resolutions contrary to the CPE’ according to a Masista account of MinGob , Attorney and Pres. Senate. Cover fraud, resignation, flight and vacuum of power planned by Evo Morales “.
The official added that this accusation concludes the preliminary stage of the investigation process to attend the corresponding oral trial.
According to Quispe, the Public Ministry has already presented the legal requirement and now it is expected that the authorities will assign the corresponding day and time for the development of the trial, as established by the Code of Criminal Procedure.
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