Paraguay must comply with democratic and transparent elections if it pretends to again become a member of the Union of South American Nations, Unasur, said the regional block following meetings on Tuesday held in Lima, Peru.
“There is consensus among all Unasur members to ratify the policy of unity and this means we all want to contribute so that through a democratic, transparent electoral process we can re-establish the political system in Paraguay”, said Salomon Lerner president of the Unasur High Level group specifically created to follow the political situation in Paraguay.
Former Peruvian PM Lerner said Unasur expects that Paraguay can go ahead with the transparent electoral process (scheduled for April 2013) and show respect for political freedoms, human rights and freedom of expression as basic conditions to allow the country’s return to Unasur.
The group is scheduled to meet again in Lima August 13.
Unasur, as Mercosur, decided the suspension of Paraguay because of the removal of Fernando Lugo as president and his replacement by Federico Franco, following political impeachment.
Likewise Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, full members of Mercosur, during the Mendoza summit on June 29 decided to suspend Paraguay until new elections are held. Paraguay appealed the sanction before the Mercosur Review Tribunal, with seat in Asuncion, as well as Venezuela’ incorporation as full member (in Paraguay’s absence), but the tribunal rejected the presentation because of ‘procedural errors’.
However in spite of the strong positions from Mercosur and Unasur the Organization of American States, OAS, has so far not decided on Paraguay and a fact-finding mission headed by OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza suggested there was no “congressional coup” and recommended creating a mission to promote political dialogue in the country as it prepares for next year’s general election.