Two Bolivian ministers resign their positions due to discrepancies with the Áñez government

The ministers of Economy, Oscar Ortiz, and of job, Oscar Mercado, announced on Monday their departure from the transitional government of Bolivia, after the first he will reveal profound differences with another fellow cabinet member.

Ortiz told a press conference that he did not resign voluntarily. “I understand that they have already decided (in government) to designate another person, for which I have come just today to clean my desk,” he declared after pointing out discrepancies with the Minister of Government (Interior) Arturo Murillo.

According to Ortiz, the disagreement with Murillo is due to the decision of the interim president, Jeanine Áñez, to return weeks ago the shares of the state electricity company ELFEC, from the Cochabamba region (center), to its former private partners.

The Minister of Labor announced his resignation on Twitter. “With the satisfaction of having fulfilled my duty, I submitted my resignation” to the cabinet of President Áñez “to whom I thank the opportunity she gave me to serve my country,” Mercado wrote.

Áñez announced two weeks ago the return of ELFEC shares to a private company, the Cochabamba Telephone Cooperative. The power company had been nationalized by former leftist president Evo Morales in May 2010.

Ortiz specified that he was not “willing to sign any decree that goes against the legal system or does not have sufficient legal support.”

Murillo, in another press conference, acknowledged that “indeed this ELFEC issue has generated a lot of friction” and criticized Ortiz. “No lodge, no power, does not send me, the people send me,” said the Minister of Government.

Áñez and his government replaced Morales in November 2019, until new general elections are held, scheduled for October 18.

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