Due to President Luis Lacalle Pou's trip to Mexico and the United States on his first mission abroad lasting more than 48 hours, Vice President Beatriz Argimón has become the country's interim head of state.
Argimón is officially in charge of the country since Thursday afternoon and until September 24, as Lacalle Pou left for Mexico and the United States to participate in the CELAC and United Nations Summits.
The transfer of command between Lacalle Pou and Argimón took place at Air Base No. 1, minutes before the president left for the airport together with Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo and Director of Political Affairs Ricardo González Arenas.
Argimón was the first woman to be elected vice president of the Republic, although Lucía Topolansky has already discharged the same duties but from a Congressional appointment following Raúl Sendic's resignation.
It is Lacalle Pou's third trip abroad. He has already left for Brazil and Argentina for one day to meet with their local counterparts. But it is the first he will be absent for more than 48 hours, a condition which calls for a transfer of command to the vice president upon Senatorial approval.
Senator Graciela Bianchi will temporarily act as vice-president, as she has already done on two occasions due to the Argimón trips. It is the second time that two women have simultaneously held the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. The previous case was in 2017 when Topolansky assumed as interim president before a trip by Tabaré Vázquez, and Senator Patricia Ayala moved up to the VP spot.
Lacalle Pou will first participate in the VI Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac), which will take place in Mexico City until Saturday, September 18. There, Uruguay already announced its support for Argentina's candidacy to assume the presidency of the bloc.
Argentine President Alberto Fernández has cancelled his trip due to domestic problems and a personal lack of understanding with Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who -like Argimón- should move up to an interim president.
Fernández had also cancelled his presence at the UN Summit, where he will give his speech online.
Lacalle is due to appear before the UN's General Assembly on Sept. 22.
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