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Bolivian Military Vows to Safeguard Democracy

Bolivia's military has vowed to safeguard the country's democracy as lawmakers were to meet to vote on whether to accept the resignation of President Carlos Mesa.

Reading a statement Thursday, Admiral Luis Aranda said the armed forces will respect the Congress' decision as long as there is no break in the constitutional and democratic system. He also appealed for calm.

His remarks came as thousands of protesters demanding nationalization of Bolivia's energy industry gathered in Bolivia's judicial capital, Sucre, where Congress is to meet.

President Mesa submitted his resignation Monday, saying he could no longer lead the impoverished Andean nation in the face of continuing protests. He tried to resign earlier this year, but lawmakers rejected his offer.

Senate leader Hormando Vaca Diez is constitutionally next in line to Mr. Mesa.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.