Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou exchanged verbal flak with his likely successor Friday while shaking hands at a business event in Progreso. If you want to maintain a good relationship, try to mind your manners, Lacalle told Canelones Mayor (Governor) Yamandú Orsi of the opposition Frente Amplio.
Orsi had voiced earlier this week that the speech of known drug trafficker Sebastián Marset in a TV interview sounded pretty much the same as the one from the current Multicolor administration involved in the irregular granting of a Uruguayan passport to the wanted criminal.
No, no, seriously. You can't talk about the mafia in a situation like this, Lacalle insisted. Let's improve the tone a little bit, he went on. I say the same, Orsi replied.
After the incident, Orsi apologized and said Lacalle's attitude was embarrassing. He added that there were issues that are settled in private and not in the way the president exposed it.
I felt and I feel very ashamed for what happened and I want to apologize to the businessmen, to the journalists, and to the people who were there because the president's words were totally out of line with what we are witnessing here today and well, the shame, the apology and the conviction that nothing and nobody is going to silence me, he added. In his view, the president was totally out of tone.
I am surprised that Marset's account coincides almost 100% with that of the government, Orsi had said earlier this week.
Regarding recent polls that show him as the likely FA candidate for the presidency in 2024, Orsi said those figures were exciting. He also hinted he might be resigning his Canelones job to focus on his campaign.
The Opción Consultores survey released last Wednesday also showed Robert Silva would win within the Colorado Party (PC), and Álvaro Delgado would lead the Nacional Party (PN), also known as the Whites.
Orsi, a History teacher by trade, leads Montevideo Mayor Carolina Cosse by 55% to 33%, the study also showed.
Reelection is not possible as per Uruguay's Constitution. Hence, Lacalle Pou is banned from running.