Uruguay's Minister of Tourism Germán Cardoso Friday handed in his resignation amid allegations of corruption.
Cardoso explained he had reached his decision after discussing the matter with former President and Secretary-General of Colorado Party – partner of the Government's coalition –, Julio María Sanguinetti.
The now-former official had been involved in irregularities regarding the direct allocation of advertising funds, which had resulted in the sacking earlier this week of Tourism Director Martín Pérez Banchero, who refused to carry out the purchases.
Cardoso and Pérez Banchero joined the ruling alliance on behalf of the Colorado Party, which singlehandedly led Sanguinetti to the presidency between 1985 and 1990 and again between 1995 and 2000.
On the other hand, President Luis Lacalle Pou belongs to the Blanco Party, which had led his father Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera to the presidency between Sanguinetti's terms.
Since the appearance onto the political arena of Former President Tabaré Vázquez's leftwing Broad Front (Frente Amplio), Uruguay's most traditional parties needed to run jointly to defeat the FA.
After Cardoso's resignation, the Colorado Party leaders headed by Sanguinetti convened Friday to find a possible replacement.
Cardoso had already been strongly questioned in June for allegedly seeking personal favours from a police officer charged with five crimes, although at that time Lacalle Pou and the government coalition supported him.
Since Lacalle Pou's inauguration on March 1, 2020, six of the 13 initial members of the cabinet have left their offices. First to leave was then Foreign Minister Ernesto Talvi on July 1, 2020, who was succeeded by Francisco Bustillo, who was Uruguay's ambassador to Spain.
On May 1, 2021, Lacalle announced the dismissal of the Minister of Social Development, Pablo Bartol, who was replaced by Martín Lema.
Three weeks later, Luis Alberto Heber, who until then had served as Transport Minister was appointed Minister of the Interior after the sudden death of Jorge Larrañaga on May 22, while José Luis Falero took over at Transport.
On June 27, Fernando Mattos replaced Carlos María Uriarte as Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries.
”I leave the president free to defend myself against the false accusations that they made (against) me, said Cardoso, who stressed that the differences and anger between two people have led to a discussion of public status with inappropriate political accusations that generate a situation of discomfort for the President and the Government, therefore, I have spoken with the leader from our sector, Julio María Sanguinetti, and I have decided to resign with the peace of having complied and having made the best effort,” he added.
Cardoso denies Pérez Banchero's allegations, despite the information on the allegedly obscure contracts that have been published Thursday by Busca, which in turn is rumoured to have led Lacalle to withdraw his support.