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Bautista Saavedra

Bautista Saavedra Mallea (1870 1939) was President of Bolivia, first as part of a governing junta between 1920-21, and then as constitutionally-elected President of the Republic between 1921 and 1925.

As leader of the insurgent Republican Party, he instigated and led the coup d'etat of 1920 against the long-ruling Liberal Party of President Jose Gutierrez Guerra. He had a turbulent term, as his party fragmented almost immediately after the coup, with a large fraction of it going on to form the Partido Republicano-Genuino (Genuine Republican party). Essentially, the split was due to opposition to the largely personalist, centralized, and caudillo-like governing style of Saavedra. He quickly expelled from the country most top-leaders of the Genuino party, and often made use of extra-constitutional means to remain in power.

Unable to run for re-election in 1925, Saavedra did the next best thing and made sure a hand-picked successor would follow him, presumably one firmly under his thumb. His first choice, Gabino Villanueva, failed to be sufficiently pliable for the President's liking, and Saavedra annulled the 1925 elections on a technicality. Nationwide protests at this transparent effort to manipulate the elections and prolong Saavedra's stay in office forced the President to resign, leaving in his place Felipe Segundo Guzman, the President of the Senate. The latter, clearly a "Saavedra's man," called elections for 1926.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Bautista Saavedra

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