LA PAZ, March 13 (Reuters) - Bolivia’s socialist government arrested former interim President Jeanine Anez on Saturday over involvement in an alleged 2019 coup, reigniting political tensions after deadly protests less than two years ago.

The move marks an escalation of hostilities between the current leftist administration and more conservative political opponents they accuse of ousting long-term leader Evo Morales.

“The political persecution has begun,” Anez said on Twitter on Friday ahead of her dawn arrest. “The MAS has decided to return to the styles of the dictatorship.”

Bolivia’s socialist government, which swept back to power in October last year, is seeking the arrest of a raft of officials in Anez’s right-wing former administration as well as ex-police and military leaders they allege fomented a coup.

Anez took power in late 2019 after Morales resigned amid widespread violent protests against his government over allegations he had stolen an election when running for an unprecedented - and unconstitutional - fourth term.

Morales and his supporters have long claimed he was forced out in a military-backed coup and have alleged involvement by foreign governments. Morales’ MAS socialist party returned to power in elections in October with President Luis Arce at the helm.