Haitian Government Reacts to Impeachment of Paraguay President Fernando Lugo
- Wednesday, June 27, 2012 5:33 PM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - The Haitian government condemned the impeachment of the President of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, on Tuesday, saying that it threatens democratic regimes in the region.
The statement read:
The Government of the Republic of Haiti condemns the impeachment of President Fernando Lugo declared by the Parliament of the Republic of Paraguay, nine months removed from the presidential elections during a summary trial that violated the rights of defense.
This act is a threat to democratic regimes in the region.
The Government of the Republic of Haiti reiterated its commitment to democratic principles and values â€‹â€‹contained in the Declaration of Quebec in April 2001 and the Inter-American Democratic Charter of 11 September 2001 which states in the Americas subscribe to. It calls for respect of the popular will and supports any initiative aimed at restoring democratic order in Paraguay.
Instructions were passed to the Permanent Representative of Haiti to the Organization of American States to adopt appropriate measures in consultation with other countries in the region, for the return based on the legitimate President Fernando Lugo. - Presidency of the Republic of Haiti
On 15 June 2012, seventeen people were killed in a clash between landless farmers and the police who were trying to evict them; some sources consider that all this was taken as a pretext to expel Lugo.
The Chamber of Deputies cited this event as well as insecurity, nepotism and a controversial land purchase to vote 76 to 1 to impeach Lugo on 21 June 2012.
The Senate took up the case the next day. The impeachment was attended by a delegation of foreign affairs ministers from the other nations of the Union of South American Nations.
The vote ended with 39 votes for Lugo's removal and four for his continuity, which ended his mandate and turned Federico Franco into the new president of Paraguay.
Lugo announced that he would denounce the case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, stating that the time to prepare a legal defense, just two hours, may be unconstitutional.
The removal of Lugo was followed by violent demonstrations by his supporters.
The presidents of Paraguay's neighbouring countries rejected Lugo's removal from office, and compared it to a coup d'Ã©tat.
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff proposed suspending Paraguay's membership in Mercosur and the Union of South American Nations. Cristina FernÃ¡ndez de Kirchner of Argentina, Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Leonel FernÃ¡ndez of the Dominican Republic announced that they would not recognize Franco as president.
Condemnation also came from more conservative governments in the region, such as Colombia and Chile.
Lugo's removal has drawn comparisons to the ouster of Honduras' Manuel Zelaya in 2009; like the ouster of Lugo it was defended as legal and constitutional while being denounced as a coup across the Western Hemisphere's political spectrum.