La Paz, Bolivia – A cheerful crowd in La Paz noted the resignation of Bolivian President Evo Morales on Sunday, even as the country was mired in a political vacuum following a controversial October election.
"We have beaten our democracy back," Luis Ramos told Al Jazeera while waving the national flag in the nation's capital.
Morales, already under pressure after the October 20 elections, resigned after election fraud was identified in a preliminary report published by the Organization of American States (OAS) early Sunday morning.
Bolivia finds itself embroiled in the worst political crisis of decades after Morales secured a slight retreat to victory over his rival, former president and vice president Carlos Mesa, in the poll.
Protesters filled city streets and set up roadblocks that halted trade.
"The situation is very volatile and it seems to be getting worse," Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of America, told Al Jazeera of Washington, DC. "Bolivia is traditionally a very divided society. It is divided geographically, socio-economically, by race, so there is a lot of kindling here to allow the fire to really take off, if the calmer heads come in.
they do not prevail. "
Morales, who had previously agreed to respect the OAS conclusions as mandatory, quickly announced new elections and a new election commission. Shortly afterwards, Mesa agreed to a new election, but insisted that neither Morales nor his Vice President Alvaro Garcia Liner should be allowed to run.
Both Mesa and the OAS agreed to allow Morales to complete his current term, which was due to end on January 22, in order to provide an orderly transition.
The Rise of Conservative Law
But neither predicted the sudden rise of Santa Cruz Civic Committee leader Luis Fernando Camacho.
The Christian conservative stole many of Mesa's thunderstorms, arriving n La Paz with great fanfare last week to demand Morales' immediate resignation. He split with Mesa a day later when Mesa urged him to wait until the results of the OAS audit.
Bitter split in Bolivia over re-election of president
"I will never participate in another meeting with Carlos Mesa," he told the local newspaper La Razon. "I understand that we support a person who is not interested in the vote of the people."
Morales' sudden resignation left a political vacuum, with no one currently ruling the Bolivian Presidential Palace. With so many resignations in the last 24 hours, Jeanine Anez, the Senate Vice President, is next in line with the 2009 Constitution.
While most protests that denounce fraud are largely peaceful, right-wing gangs have
In recent days, they have burned down the houses of government ministers and taken their relatives hostage to force their resignation. Much of the attacks are related to racism, which is never far from the surface in Bolivia.
"Indians outside the university" read graffiti at a public university in La Paz a week after the election.
"They talk about democracy all the time," said La Paz MP Morales, a La Paz MP who asked to remain anonymous for fear of his family's safety. "But it is clear that they do not. that poor people and Indians should have the same rights as them. Is this democracy? "
The upheaval intensified when part of police forces rebelled against the Morales government on November 8, and Williams Kaliman, the head of the armed forces, on Sunday "suggested" Morales resign to restore peace in the country.
The current crisis has roots in a 2016 referendum that Morales hoped would allow him to change constitution and to run for another term.  After losing narrowly, he promised to keep the results, but a year and a half later, the country's elections announced that if he did not allow him to run, he would violate his human rights.
The move galvanizes the fragmented opposition, which is steadily growing beyond the urban middle class, to the people of the rural and working classes who benefit most from the policies of the Morales Government.
"I'm worried that Evo remains in power for so long," says fruit salesman Marlene Soto, "but we want someone to continue his politics.
Cochabamba feminist activist Maria Fernandez told Al Jazeera ":" The last two Evo mandates of the post were marked by corruption, arrogance and neglect for the people who put him in power. But I do not celebrate his resignation because I fear that it is a takeover by religious extremists who are anti- women and racists. "