Eduardo Rodriguez Veltze is the new president of Bolivia

Bolivia's high court chief took office as the country's president late Thursday during an emergency congressional session, setting the stage for early elections aimed at curbing violent protests that have paralyzed much of this Latin nation.

The action came after lawmakers gathered following a day of demonstrations and under a warning by the military of possible intervention if the spreading chaos isn't quelled.

Congress rapidly accepted the resignation of President &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Carlos Mesa. Then both the Senate and House leaders rejected the job, automatically giving it to Supreme Court Justice Eduardo Rodriguez Veltze, who had been third in the line for the presidency, tells the Guardians Unlimited.

According to CNN News, the rejection of the top post by the two congressional leaders of the House and Senate automatically gave the job to Supreme Court Justice Eduardo Rodriguez, who had been third in the line to the presidency.

The important developments took only minutes during a session called after a day of raucous &to=http:// ' target=_blank>street demonstrations in this historic colonial capital some 450 miles southeast of La Paz.

Earlier, protests forced Congress to suspend an emergency session intended to elect a new president as the armed forces chief threatened military intervention if the rioting seriously escalates.

Hundreds of miners and farmers clashed with riot police outside the whitewashed hall where the session was to have been held as the weeks-old unrest registered its first death.

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