Anez said she would become interim president after the three people ahead of her in the line of succession quit in the wake of massive protests following Morales’ resignation.
In Morales’ absence, members of his leftist political party were a no-show at the legislative session to appoint Anez, the second vice president of the senate, leaving the chamber without a quorum to do business.
In a tweet, Morales called Anez’s assumption of the presidency “the most crafty and disastrous coup in history.”
Supporters of Morales flooded the streets of the administrative capital, La Paz, to support the former President, and did so mostly peacefully.
Morales pledged Sunday to hold new elections after monitors from the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS) published a report alleging voting irregularities. The head of Bolivia’s Armed forces, Cmdr. Williams Kaliman, asked Morales to step down in order to restore stability and peace on Sunday.
The longtime leader — and first indigenous Bolivian elected President — was granted political asylum by Mexico, but it took him some time to arrive in the country.
The Mexican Air Force plane sent to pick up Morales was initially denied access to Bolivian airspace, takeoff was delayed, and protesters surrounded the airport. After Morales boarded the plane, it was denied permission to refuel in Peru. It had to stop in Paraguay before arriving in Mexico City.
Upon landing, Morales thanked Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador for saving his life and reiterated that he had been forced to resign.
Lopez Obrador and Morales’ left-leaning allies in Latin America have backed the former President’s allegations of a coup, but the opposition in Bolivia said the country was instead engaged in a fight for “democracy and peace.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that Washington commended the OAS mission that found the electoral irregularities and backed calls for a new vote.
“You have surely seen statements by Morales and his supporters calling him the victim of a coup, despite the fact that what all these events clearly show is the Bolivian people have simply had enough of a government ignoring the will of its voters,” the official said.
“And continued incitement and unrest and violence to feed this false narrative is simply damaging Bolivian democracy.”