Paraguayan retired General Lino Cesar Oviedo, recently absolved of charges of uprising in 1996, will register as an official candidate for the coming presidential elections, announced the party that sponsors him the National Union of Ethical Citizens, Unace.
The former commander of the Paraguayan army will be disputing the South American landlocked country's main office on April 20 against Fernando Lugo, a former catholic bishop and the winner of the primaries of the ruling Colorado party which has held power for the last sixty years. Senator Enrique Gonzalez chairman of Unace said that the general will be officially postulated in the coming party's assembly January 13, together with candidates for governors of the 17 provinces, regional councilors, senators, deputies and members of the Mercosur Parliament which is seated in Montevideo. "We've fought hard so that our leader becomes a candidate. His participation in the electoral dispute will strengthen our democratic system and will be a valid option so that Paraguayans can choose a man who has a program to lift the country out of poverty and backwardness", said Gonzalez. Oviedo who is 65 and is fluent in the indigenous language Guarani, (an important political asset) in 1997 was nominated as presidential candidate for the ruling Partido Colorado but was unable to participate after having been condemned to ten years imprisonment by a military tribunal who found him guilty of uprising and attempting to depose the elected president of the time Juan Carlos Wasmosey. Oviedo was then Commander of the Army. The military court decision was ratified by Paraguay's Supreme Court. Ovideo later started his own party, Unace and in September last year the Supreme Court, with different benches from 1998, reviewed the ruling and absolved him from the uprising charges.