Bolivia president angrily rejects allegations he was behind attempted coup

Bolivia’s president Luis Arce has angrily called accusations that he was behind an attempted coup against his government “lies,” saying the general who apparently led it acted on his own.

His comments, his first to the press since Wednesday’s failed apparent coup, came after the general involved, Juan Jose Zuniga, alleged without providing evidence that the president had ordered him to carry out the mutiny in a ruse to boost his flagging popularity.

That fueled speculation about what really happened, even after the government announced the arrest of 17 people, most of them military officers.

Opposition senators and government critics joined the chorus of doubters, calling the mutiny a “self-coup.”

Those claims have been strongly denied by Mr Arce and his government.

“We are never going to authorise weapons to be raised against the people,” he said.

“It is rather outrageous that he wanted to involve us as a justification for his actions and appetites.”