LA PAZ, Bolivia — Looting and roadblocks convulsed Bolivia on Monday after President Evo Morales' resignation ended 14 years of socialist rule and left a power vacuum his opponents scrambled to fill.
The departure of Bolivia's first indigenous president, one of a wave of leftists who dominated Latin America's politics at the start of the century, followed weeks of violent protests over a disputed Oct. 20 re-election.
The 60-year-old former llama herder and coca leaf farmer was viewed by many as a champion of the poor who brought steady economic growth, but to others he was an autocrat who overstepped by defying a referendum on presidential term limits.
His government collapsed on Sunday after the Organization of American States (OAS) delivered a damning report into serious irregularities during the October vote, prompting ruling party allies to quit before the army urged him to step down.
Foes celebrated Morales' departure but also moved swiftly to find a temporary successor before a presumed new election in the landlocked nation that is one of South America's poorest, dependent on farming and natural gas.
With Morales' deputy and many allies in government and parliament gone with him, opposition politician and Senate second vice-president Jeanine Añez flew into the capital La Paz saying she was willing to take control.
"If I have the support of those who carried out this movement for freedom and democracy, I will take on the challenge, only to do what's necessary to call transparent elections," said Añez, who is constitutionally next in line to assume the presidency.
Speaking tearfully about the crisis, she said the Senate would look to hold a session on Tuesday and urged members of Morales' Movement for Socialism (MAS) party to attend to find a constitutional solution and interim president.
Morales's resignation still needs to be approved by the Legislative Assembly, convened by both chambers of Congress.
That looked set to be delayed until at least Wednesday after the Chamber of Deputies said it would suspend a planned meeting on Tuesday as some of its members were unable to reach La Paz citing "force majeure" and insecurity.