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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 19:18 GMT
Bolivian cabinet resigns
Police officers bury nine colleagues on Friday
Twenty three people died in last week's riots
The entire cabinet of Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada has resigned, following a week of public protests.

The resignations have been accepted and a new cabinet will be announced later on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Carlos Saavedra said.

On Monday several thousand people took part in a march in La Paz - the country's main city - calling for the resignation of the president.

President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada
The president said he would forgo his salary
They were also protesting against the military's use of force in restoring order last week in the city.

At least 23 people were killed and more than 100 injured in looting and rioting last Wednesday and Thursday.

The violence followed a protest, led by police, at tax hikes in South America's poorest country.

President Sanchez de Lozada had said the tax increases were unavoidable to reduce the national budget deficit as demanded by the International Monetary Fund.

Cost-cutting

The unrest, however, forced him to cancel the increases and award police a pay rise.

During Monday's protests, it was reported, the president had been meeting top aides to try to identify other cost-cutting measures.

Among the proposals was a reduction in the number of cabinet positions and a tightening of staff expenses, the news agency AP quoted government officials as saying.

In a nationally televised speech, the president also said he would take no salary for the remaining four years of his term.

See also:

17 Feb 03 | Americas
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03 Dec 02 | Country profiles
03 Dec 02 | Americas
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