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Anti-govt protesters in Bolivia lift road blockades ahead of talks with interim president


Anti-government demonstrators in Bolivia lifted road blockades ahead of talks with interim President Jeanine Anez on Saturday (November 23) aimed at ending weeks of unrest.

In the highland city of El Alto near the seat of government in La Paz, road access to a natural gas plant that has been a focal point of protesters resumed early on Saturday, with vans packed with commuters dodging boulders, burned tires and other debris still scattered on streets. Local media reported that road blockades in other regions had also been lifted as part of a pause in demonstrations.

El Alto residents waited in a long line in drizzling rain to refill their natural gas tanks outside the plant, Senkata, where eight people were killed in clashes between security forces and protesters earlier this week.

More than 30 people have died in clashes, most following the resignation of President Evo Morales who agreed to step down under pressure from security forces and protesters amid allegations he rigged the vote to give him an outright win.

Morales, an iconic socialist leader in Latin America who had been in power for nearly 14 years, has said he was toppled in a coup and has relocated to Mexico, which has granted him asylum.

But lawmakers in his Movement to Socialism (MAS) party have reached a deal with other parties to pass legislation needed to appoint a new electoral board that will call new elections. The bill they hashed out would annul the Oct. 20 election and was expected to pass both chambers of Congress on Saturday.

(Source: Reuters)

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