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Bolivia's President Resigns

Bolivia's President Carlos Mesa has resigned after several days of anti-government protests.

President Mesa submitted his resignation to Bolivia's Congress Monday. He says he is leaving after only 17 months in office because the protests threaten the country's oil and gas industry.

Speaking in Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher called on Bolivia's political leaders to work together to reach a national consensus in favor of a more stable and prosperous country.

If Congress accepts Mr. Mesa's resignation the leader of the Senate, President Hormando Vaca Diez, will take power.

Mr. Mesa, a political independent, became president in October, 2003, when a wave of violent protests drove out his predecessor, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada.

Recent protests have blocked roads in the country and forced the government to deploy the military to maintain control of some oil fields.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.