Ousted Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo addressed thousands of citizens outside the presidential palace and assured there had been a coup against democracy but also said he would respect the formality of the Senate’s decision and called on followers to march peacefully.
“Today is not Lugo who receives a coup, not Lugo who is removed from power: it is Paraguayan history, its democracy which has been deeply hurt. The basic principle of defence was transgressed in a cowardly and treacherous manner. I hope that the people who did so are conscious of the seriousness of their acts he stated minutes before his successor was taking the oath of office in Congress.
The decision from Congress has not wounded Lugo, “it has wounded the country, Paraguayan history, and it’s democracy that has been attacked and wounded this evening”.
“I have always respected the law and today I accept Congress’s decision. I am ready to respond for my acts as President, I say farewell as the Paraguayan President, but will continue to serve my people as a Paraguayan citizen he added.
But Lugo also emphasized “I call on you from my heart that any manifestation is completely peaceful; so that the blood of the just is not again spilled”.
As always “I have performed in the framework of the law, even when on this occasion is has been twisted, and I submit to the decision from Congress. Fernando Lugo does not respond to the political class, does not respond to the mafias or to the narcotics trafficker gangs or belongs to any claque”, insisted Lugo in clear reference to the conservatives that ganged to have his ousted.
Finally Lugo said he was exiting office by the big door of the motherland, “I leave through the door of the hearts of my fellow citizens”. He then publicly thanked his immediate collaborators, Armed and Police forces, citizens’ organizations and the people who had come to the streets to support him.
The ousted president lawyers also announced that the case would be presented to the Organization of American States Inter American Human Rights commission since the time given to President Lugo to prepare his defence was only two hours “and the normal time to prepare any defence in any judicial litigation is 18 days.
Another of his solicitors Luis Samaniego advanced that Lugo’s case would be appealed as unconstitutional before Paraguay’s Supreme Court, since Congress “did not respect due process” and the terms established in the Constitution.
During the definitive impeachment vote which was on live television it was clearly seen that the four senators that stood up for the former president were unable or denied time to expose their cases.