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Uruguay opposition parties blast Argentine ambassador’s interferences

Thursday, September 24th 2009 - 12:12 UTC
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Ambassador Hernán Patiño, the wrong stage, the wrong moment Ambassador Hernán Patiño, the wrong stage, the wrong moment

Uruguayan opposition parties are demanding Argentine ambassador Hernan Patiño be sanctioned for his active participation in a political rally in support of the ruling Broad Front coalition, an action described as “interference” in Uruguayan internal affairs.

However given the legislative recess because of the October presidential campaign, the 11 member standing committee (6 from the coalition and 5 from the opposition) did not manage to agree on a “persona non grata” statement. The incumbents defended the attitude of ambassador Patiño while members of the opposition rejected it.

“This is a clear interference in Uruguay’s internal affairs which is specifically banned for diplomats according to the Vienna convention, the OAS charter and UN General Assembly regulations”, said Jaime Trobo an opposition lawmaker.

He added that this was not the first time that “this character acts almost out of respect towards authorities and officials from Uruguay, interfering in internal affairs”.

The controversy was born when Patiño attended a political rally in Buenos Aires to collect funds for the incumbent presidential ticket, Jose Mujica-Danilo Astori, with the participation of Uruguayan folklore groups.

According to opposition claims Patiño not only participated actively but also went dressed with the colours which identify the incumbent Broad Front and publicly expressed support and sympathy for the ruling coalition.

“The ambassador of any country before the Uruguayan government must act with respect towards our sovereignty and the development of internal affairs. We do not admit that it can be interpreted or presumed that Uruguay is a country where ambassadors, wherever they come from can act with impunity in reference to domestic issues”, insisted Trobo.

However the government lawmakers argued that ambassador Patiño in Buenos Aires had acted as a private citizen and furthermore the rally did not take place in Uruguay.

The opposition parties plan to have the claim considered by the Uruguayan Foreign Affairs ministry.

With only a month to Election Day in Uruguay, campaigning is becoming increasingly aggressive, when not offensive, and even personal.

Categories: Politics, Argentina, Uruguay.

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