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Bolivian Interim Leader Vows To Call Early Elections


Bolivian Supreme Court chief Eduardo Rodriguez has been sworn as interim president, pledging to call early elections in the nation that has been crippled by weeks of protests.

Mr. Rodriguez took the oath of office late Thursday after lawmakers meeting in an emergency session approved the resignation of President Carlos Mesa.

The meeting in the city of Sucre was initially postponed after security forces killed a miner headed to protests in the city to demand the nationalization of the country's energy resources.

Mr. Rodriguez was third in line to assume the presidency. Senate President Hormando Vaca Diez and Congress President Mario Cossio Cortez both declined the position.

In an early Friday morning address to legislators, Mr. Rodriguez said he believes a top priority will be to hold new elections, although he did not set a specific date.

The outgoing president, Mr. Mesa, submitted his resignation Monday, saying he could no longer lead the impoverished Andean nation in the face of continuing protests.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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