Áñez came to the presidency in the middle of protests where the president-elect (Evo Morales), the vicepresident (Álvaro García Linera) and senate president (Adriana Salvatierra) have to resign.

First point here: Can a forced resignation by the army/oposition be legitimized? If your president-elect has to leave the country under pressure from the opposition, isn't that a form of coercion and ultimately terrorism?

After that it seems Áñez was next in the constitutional line of succession (according to wikipedia)

The role of acting president of the Senate would normally fall to the vice president of the Senate, Rubén Medinaceli, but since he also had resigned, the position fell to Añez as second vice president.

Also, some countries recognized her as president.

After Áñez took office, the governments of Canada, Brazil, the European Union, Russia and the United States recognized her as the acting president of Bolivia.

But now is under arrest with charges of terrorism and sedition.

Bolivian Attorney General's Office issued an arrest warrant for Jeanine Áñez and five members of her government for terrorism, sedition, and conspiracy on 12 March 2021.

It is a contradiction to be the legitimate president and at the same time to be accused of sedition. So my question is, was Jeanine Áñez really a legitimate president?


It is difficult to analyse extraconstitutional events from a purely constitutional analysis. A constitution may say "the president is chosen elections", but cannot then say what happens if the elections are not held, or if they are not free and fair. A constitution can't say who becomes president following a successful coup-d'etat.

So rather than try and pick through the Constitution to decide who "really" was the President, it is better to look at who exercised the authority of President. Who was the de facto President?

That is clear. Áñez certainly held the reins of power. She was the de facto President. It doesn't really matter how she attained this position of power if the only question you ask is was she President.

Similarly the Taliban are the de facto government of Afganistan, Musharraf was President of Pakistan, Lenin was leader of the Russia, although none of these gained power through constitutional means.

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