Paraguay's President Fernando Lugo Impeached by Senate, Federico Franco new President
Paraguay's former President Fernando Lugo was removed from his office after the Senate voted against him in an impeachment trial.
The impeachment trial was held at the Presidential palace in Asuncion on Friday.
Trial took place for five long hours in which 39 Senators voted to dismiss Mr. Lugo, while four Senators voted against and two were absent.
Mr. Lugo did not attended the trial instead watched it from the Presidential palace. His lawyers spoke on his behalf in front of the Senate.
His lawyers requested a period 18 days to prepare for their arguments but it was rejected by Senate.
The trial came a day after Paraguay's lower house of Congress voted to impeach Mr. Lugo.
"I say goodbye as President, however, Paraguay's democracy has been deeply wounded." a smiling Mr. Lugo said after the Senate removed him.
Military guard formally saw Lugo off with a bugle tune from the Presidential palace.
Lugo supporters took to the streets condemning the impeachment. Police drove them back on horseback using tear gas and water cannons.
Reason for Mr. Fernando Lugo Trial and Impeachment:
The trial was carried on Lugo on five charges of malfeasance in office
- He was charged in his alleged role in a confrontation between police and landless farmers. Police tried to evict about 150 farmers from a remote, 4,900-acre forest reserve that left 17 dead and created much criticism of Lugo's role in it.
- He improperly allowed for leftist parties to hold a political meeting in an army base in 2009.
- He allowed about 3,000 squatters to illegally invade a large Brazilian-owned soybean farm
- His government failed to capture members of Paraguayan People's Army, which carries out extortion kidnappings and occasional attacks on police.
- He signed an international protocol without properly submitting it to Congress for approval.
Lugo in his early days stepped down as Roman Catholic to run for the Presidency.
Mr. Lugo has been removed after serving four years in the office. He ended 61 years of rule by the right-wing Colorado party. During his time in office allies have always disapproved his leftist policies and uncompromising style.
Lugo's impeachment has created much discontent among other leaders of the world.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said, "We won't recognize the illegal and illegitimate government."
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said, "Our government wouldn't recognize any government in Paraguay other than Mr. Lugo's."
At present Vice-President of Paraguay, Federico Franco has been sworn in as President and will serve out the rest of Mr. Lugo's term, which ends in August 2013.
Mr. Franco said, "At this time, God and destiny wanted me to assume the Presidency."
Mr. Franco (49) is of the Authentic Radical Liberal Party was a former state Governor.
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