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Does Paraguay risk pariah status with president's ouster?

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In a brief appearance before international journalists, Franco tried to broadcast a sense of normality a day after lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to kick Lugo out of office.

"The country is calm. I was elected [as vice president] in 2008 by popular vote. Activity is normal and there is no protest," Franco said.

His first two appointments were Interior Minister Carmelo Caballero, who will be tasked with maintaining public order in this poor, landlocked South American nation, and Foreign Minister Jose Felix Fernandez, who will immediately hit the road to try to appease fellow members of the Mercosur and Unasur regional trade blocs.

"Our foreign minister will go to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay to meet with authorities and explain to them that there was no break with democracy here. The transition of power through political trial is established in the national constitution," Franco said.

Ousted just a year before his term was over

The Paraguayan Senate voted 39-4 Friday to dismiss Lugo a little more than a year before his five-year term was to end, and Franco took the oath of office soon after. Lugo told reporters Saturday that he intends to remain in politics and is considering a possible run for a Senate seat in next year's elections.

Lugo's ouster drew swift condemnation around Latin America from leaders who called it a de facto coup, and several presidents said they would seek Paraguay's expulsion from regional groups.

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