Paraguayan president fires top military chiefs

Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo dismissed the country's three top military commanders on Wednesday.

Paraguayan president fires top military chiefs
Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo dismissed the country's three top military commanders on Wednesday, a day after denying rumors of a possible coup amidst growing opposition criticism of his government.

Lugo replaced the heads of the army, navy and air force, a statement from the Armed Forces press office said, in his third shake-up of the top military command since he came to power a year-and-a-half ago. He made no comment about the decision.

A left-leaning former Roman Catholic bishop, Lugo won the presidency last year, ending more than 60 years of rule by the conservative Colorado Party.

His governing coalition has struggled to push through a reformist agenda and faces stiff opposition from Colorado lawmakers who control Congress.

On Tuesday, Lugo denied the threat of a military coup in comments to reporters but warned of a "small group of military officers" who he said might be siding with his political foes.

According to Paraguayan media reports, the military shake-up came after Lugo reportedly learned that some high-ranking military officials held meetings with opposition lawmakers over the weekend.

One of South America's poorest countries, Paraguay has been shaken by periodic bouts of political instability and several coup attempts since democracy was restored in 1989 after a 35-year military dictatorship led by Gen. Alfredo Stroessner.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Kasım 2009, 11:52
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