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Bolivia. Morales wants UN to mediate crisis and admits Pope's intervention

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Bolivia. Morales wants UN to mediate crisis and admits Pope's intervention

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Former Bolivian President Evo Morales wants the UN to mediate the political crisis in the country and has admitted calling for the intervention of the Catholic Church and Pope Francis in an interview released by the Associated Press.

"I have a lot of confidence in the UN," said Morales, who expressed a desire to see that world body as "a mediator, not just a facilitator, perhaps accompanied by the Catholic Church." And, "if necessary, the Pope," he added.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has already sent a representative to Bolivia to support efforts to find a peaceful solution to the social and political crisis.

Morales said he was ousted from office by a coup that forced him into exile in Mexico.

In Mexico City, Morales said he was the president of Bolivia, as parliament has not yet accepted the resignation, presented on Sunday at the request of military leaders, after weeks of protests against a reelection that the opposition dubbed fraudulent.

"If they have not accepted or rejected [the resignation], I can say that I am still President," argued the man who ruled Bolivia for almost 14 years. Morales admitted to returning to the country if it contributes to pacification.

Call for dialogue

The former minister called for calm and dialogue in Bolivia: "I want to tell you [the supporters] that we will have to regain democracy, but with a lot of patience and peaceful struggle."

Bolivian interim leader Jeanine Anez has been recognized by some countries but faces an uphill battle in organizing new elections.

The Bolivian Constitution states that an interim President has 90 days to organize an election. Anez's disputed rise, which until Tuesday was the second vice president of the Senate, was an example of the long list of obstacles he faces.

Morales' resignation came after protests across the country over suspected electoral fraud in the Oct. 20 election, in which the then ruler claimed to have won a fourth term.

An audit of the Organization of American States found widespread irregularities in the scrutiny.

Much of the opposition to Morales was triggered by the Bolivian head of state's refusal to accept a referendum that could ban him from running for a new term.

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