Key lawmakers in Bolivia have signaled they will reject President Carlos Mesa's resignation offer.

The lawmakers' support comes just hours before Congress is to vote on whether to accept Mr. Mesa's resignation.

The president submitted his resignation to Congress Monday, after only serving 17 months in office. He says several days of anti-government protests prompted his decision.

If Congress accepts Mr. Mesa's resignation, the leader of the Senate, 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.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.