Bolivian President plans to step down

Bolivia faces a new leadership crisis with the decision of President Luis Garcia Meza to hand over his post to a successor. General Garcia Meza seized power in a military coup last July, putting an end to the democratic experiment initiated by previous armed forces leaders. His decision to relinquish power came after the failure of an attempt to topple him in a coup last Sunday.

General Garcia Meza announced that a successor would be chosen to take over the presidency in August. He gave no reason for stepping down but said that when the armed forces seized power last year, a process of national reconstruction was initiated and the first stage ha d now been completed.

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