European Parliament begins fact-finding mission in Paraguay
A delegation from the European parliament begins this Monday an in-situ data collecting mission in Paraguay following the situation triggered a month ago when then President Fernando Lugo was impeached and removed from office, but which has caused the new regime a certain freezing of international links.
The delegation is headed by Spanish lawmaker Luis Yañez-Barnuevo Garcia, who is chairman of the EU Parliament subcommittee on relations with Mercosur. He is scheduled to meet Paraguayan president Federico Franco Monday morning.
The mission which will remain in Asunción until July 18 has “as its purpose to hold contacts with the main political, legislative, social and business representatives from the country to assess the political situation in-situ and following that transmit the conclusions to the European Parliament” according to a release from the Euro Chambers.
The agenda includes interviews with the highest government authorities and from the opposition, political parties’ leaders, lawmakers, representatives from the production sector and the civil society, adds the release.
The delegation is made up of Euro Deputies Jean-Pierre Audy (France): Michal Kaminski (Poland); Jürgen Klute (Germany) and from Spain Esther Herranz García, María Muñiz de Urquiza, Ana Miranda and José Ignacio Salafranca.
The Organization of American States, OAS, has already sent a mission to Paraguay following the political crisis which meant the removal of Lugo last June 22. Lugo was replaced by Vice-president Federico Franco, but the country was suspended from Mercosur and Unasur for alleged “democratic rupture”, which according to the South American groupings occurred during the political impeachment.
The administration of President Franco is hoping that the OAS report delivered last week to the Permanent Council and is in the process of consultation, and likewise with a report from the European parliament would help break the international freeze.
Meanwhile the Sunday edition of the newspaper Ultima Hora published a public opinion poll showing that 56% of those interviewed support the removal of Lugo but 61% consider it necessary to advance presidential elections which are scheduled to take place in April 2013.
Likewise although there is a majority support for President Franco to complete what is left of the mandate, only 45% have “great or some confidence” in the leader with another 55% arguing they have “little or no confidence”.