President impeached


President Fernando Lugo was removed from office in an impeachment trial which lasted five hours yesterday.

In the Senate hearing 39 Senators voted for impeachment, four were against and two were absent. In a move which most observers are saying has probably prevented widespread violence Fernando Lugo immediately accepted the decision and departed the presidential palace.

The Vice President, Federico Franco of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party (PLRA) was immediately sworn in.

It was the deaths of policemen and peasant farmers in a bungled eviction which parked the impeachment, but a number of other charges were brought against the president, none of which seem to fit the normal reasons cited for an impeachment. It is this which has caused many South American diplomats to describe the trial as undemocratic.

In an immediate reaction, the presidents of Venezuela and Ecuador said that they would not recognise the new president.

President Federico Franco will remain in office until August next year as he completes the normal term of office for the post of president.

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