Paraguay’s President Impeached

Fernando Lugo was elected president of Paraguay in 2008. His election was particularly notable, as it marked the first time in the history of Paraguay that any ruling party had peacefully transferred their power to an opposing candidate. The “Colorado Party” had been in power for 61 years before Fernando’s election.

As Paraguay’s second leftist president (after Rafael Franco from 1936 to 1937), he was impeached on June 21st. The Chamber of Deputies in Paraguay voted to impeach Fernando, and the Senate took up the vote on the 22nd.

39 Senators voted to remove Lugo, and 4 voted for him to remain in office.

So far, mostly a handful of leftists leaders in the region have denounced the decision of the government of Paraguay to remove Lugo from office. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina, Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, and Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic have indicated that they are opposed to the action of the Paraguayan legislature.

It seems that Lugo had lost the support of his base as he failed to effectuate improvements for the lower classes who had largely put him in office. The final straw appears to have been the indifference showed to the deaths of several farmers in a land dispute at the hands of police forces.

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