Paraguay’s Congress Votes to Oust President
Paraguay’s congress voted to remove President Fernando Lugo. The impeachment proceeding was a lighting process in which with both chambers approved his destitution in a little more than 24 hours.
Paraguay’s La Nacíon reports that Vice President Federico Franco will assume the presidency after Lugo was found guilty of “performing his duties badly.”
La Nacíon from Argentina reports that the speed of the trial took many in Paraguay by surprise. Thousands of Lugo supporters and detractors streamed to Asuncíon, waiting for developments, the paper reports.
Lugo for his part will “appeal the constitutionality of the process.” He might resort the Inter-American Court of Human Rights because he says he was only given two hours to mount a defense. The regular time table to start any legal proceedings, Lugo’s lawyers told the paper, would be 18 days.
All of this, explains the AP, stems from “the inability of a leader elected on promises of helping the poor to find a balance with one-time allies who have increasingly disapproved of his leftist policies and strident, uncompromising style.”
Those tensions were heightened last week, after police tried to evict landless farmers from a forest reserve near the border with Brazil. Seventeen people were killed in the clashes with police in that incident.
More updates from local news sources at NPR