President faces impeachment
President Fernando Lugo faces impeachment today after the lower house Chamber of Deputies and upper house Senate of the Parliament criticised him for ‘poor performance’.
The decision was brought after six policemen and eleven peasant farmers were killed after the police tried to evict the farmers from land belonging to a wealthy businessman. We reported on Sunday that this incident led to the resignations of the interior minister and police chief.
The move yesterday saw 76 of the 80 Deputies in the lower house support the impeachment motion and later this was carried in the Senate.
The president has been given no time in which to present his case and the defence will be held in front of the parliament today at midday. If the impeachment motion is carried then Lugo will be stripped of office and Vice President Federico Franco of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party (PLRA) will take office until the scheduled elections due to take place on 21st April 2013.
Fernando Lugo won the presidential election in 2008 with 42.3% of the vote. He was the first opposition leader to defeat the National Republican Association – Colorado Party (ANR-PC) in sixty-one years. He managed to form a government in the parliament through an agreement with the PLRA who have 26 seats, the National Union of Ethical Citizens (UNACE) who have 16 seats and his own Patriotic Alliance for Change with two seats, giving them 44 seats in the 80 seat Chamber of Deputies. In the Senate he had the support of 23 of the 45 Senators. Yesterday his allies appear to have abandoned him.