Police in 3 Bolivian cities join opposition

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Police guards outside Bolivia's presidential palace abandoned their posts Saturday, increasing pressure on President Evo Morales as he seeks to curb nationwide unrest after a disputed election.

During an earlier nationally televised news conference, Morales said he would also replace members of the country's election board.

While some anti-government protests have remained peaceful, others have led to rioting in major cities, clashes with police, and attacks on pro-government politicians.

Morales became the first president from Bolivia's indigenous population in 2006 and presided over a commodities-fed economic boom in South America's poorest country.

Speaking to local media, several uniformed officers called on Mr Morales to resign - and said they would stop him from turning Bolivia into a dictatorship like his allies in Cuba and Venezuela.

Camacho has been leading protests in Santa Cruz, the country's most populous city, demanding Morales step aside following a disputed October 20 election.

With 99.99% of votes counted in late October, Morales had 47.07% to 36.51% for former President Carlos Mesa, who finished second in the nine-candidate field, according to AP.

Police retreated to their barracks in at least three cities.

Morales said he would also invite to the talks worldwide organisations, including the Vatican, the United Nations and the OAS.

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"We'll never confront the people among whom we live".

The OAS report also recommended appointing a new electoral board to oversee the process, something Morales also said he would do.

"We are asking for peace".

Videos released by supporters of President Morales' Movement for Socialism, which Governor Victor Hugo Vasquez belongs to, showed a group of people vandalizing and setting fire to his house on Saturday in Oruro department, Efe news reported. "This is a political problem and it should be resolved within that realm".

Units in the southeastern city of Sucre and the opposition stronghold of Santa Cruz said they were joining a rebellion launched by police officers in the central city of Cochabamba.

"We condemn the opposition's coup strategy which has unleashed violence on Bolivia, has cost deaths, hundreds of injuries and condemnable expressions of racism towards the native people".

"Today we won a battle", Camacho told a crowd of cheering supporters in the capital before Morales' resignation, though he added more time was needed to fix the constitutional order and democracy.

After almost 14 years in power, Morales claimed he won a fourth term last month.

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