Adonis Diaries

Fernando Lugo, priest, and President of Paraguay? A return to the bloody 80s…

Posted on: July 25, 2019

Fernando Lugo, priest, and President of Paraguay? A return to the bloody 80s…

Andrew Nickson posted in Open Democracy on July 10:

Fernando Lugo, the radical priest and a former Catholic bishop, elected Paraguay’s president in 2008 after decades of authoritarian rule, has been deposed less than a year before the end of his term.

Is this dramatic turn of events, rooted in the strains produced by economic transformation, and the limits of the country’s democratisation?

Paraguay’s capital city of Asuncion  witness a rare constitutional and political drama on June 21.

First, the 80-member lower house of Paraguay’s congress initiated a move to impeach President Fernando Lugo, and voted by a 76-1 majority to support it;

Second, the next day, in a lightning session lasting less than two hours, the 45-member upper house (senate) concluded the process by a vote of 39-4.

Fernando Lugo, a former Catholic bishop, had been elected Paraguay’s president in April 2008 on a platform of social change. The vote ended 61 years of uninterrupted rule by the Colorado Party, much of it under the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner (1954-89).

It was the first time since 1887 – when Paraguay’s two traditional parties, the Colorados and the Liberals, were created – that a political party had relinquished power to another through the ballot-box rather than through a military coup (see “Paraguay: Fernando Lugo vs the Colorado machine“, 28 February 2008).

Note: Paraguay is controlled by US multinationals. The border country Uruguay has regained its democracy

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