The Paraguayan Supreme Electoral tribunal said on Monday that President Federico Franco “must complete” the current mandate that concludes August 2013 and discarded any possibility of advancing the national elections scheduled for April the same year.
In a release the Tribunal confirmed that Franco is “the legitimate President of the Republic of Paraguay and must complete the constitutional period 2008/2013” for which he was elected Vice-president in the ticket with now removed President Fernando Lugo.
“There are no possibilities of advancing the elections date”, added the release which confirmed national elections for 21 April 2013.
The Electoral tribunal in its announcement takes into account the ruling from the Paraguayan Supreme Court which discarded any “unconstitutional action” promoted by Lugo against the impeachment process from the Legislative started last week and which removed him in less than 30 hours.
The Supreme Court rejected the presentation “in limine” (without analyzing). Lugo’s solicitors argued Senators were partial during the process for having announced the result of the impeachment before hand and having denied the petitioner sufficient time to prepare his defence.
The former president appealed to the Judiciary branch which in Paraguay also rules on constitutional interpretation, arguing that the time he was given to present his case before the Senate when the impeachment process started “had been notoriously insufficient”.
The Supreme Court rejected the presentation “in limine” (without analyzing). Lugo’s solicitors also complained Senators were partial during the process for having announced the result of the impeachment before hand.
“Two hours are not enough” said Lugo’s solicitors but under the Paraguayan constitution it is the Senate that establishes such times and conditions.
The impeachment started in the Lower House with the support of 76 to one votes concluded in the Senate with a guilty verdict for “ill performance” of his presidential duties, followed by his removal and replacement by Vice-president Franco last Friday.
In the communiqué the Electoral Tribunal recalls that Lugo “publicly accepted submission to impeachment, before it started with all the consequences this entails” and likewise when the verdict on Friday June 22, he also complied.
However on Sunday Lugo seems to have changed idea and publicly called on his followers to resist the illegitimate government of Franco, but he emphasized and repeated “peacefully”.
The Supreme Electoral tribunal also points out that Lugo and Franco were elected on the same ticket, president and vice-president on April 2008 with 40.8% of cast votes and underlined that “the election calendar can’t be modified by Electoral Justice”.
Thus, it is confirmed that the parties’ presidential primaries are scheduled for next 9 December and 20 January 2013, while general elections will be held on April 21st 2013.
Paraguayan (caretaker) president Franco in his first statements has said he will complete his mandate and hand over the Executive to whoever the Paraguayan people elect in August 2013. He also discarded point blank any intention of running for re-election.