Ousted Paraguay President Calls for Return to Democracy

Fernando Lugo, the Paraguayan President who was impeached and ousted by Congress a few days ago, has called the country's new government "illegitimate" and called for a return to democratic rule, reports Reuters

Congress voted overwhelmingly on Friday to remove Lugo from office, saying he failed to maintain social order following a bloody land eviction. In this eviction, six members of police and 11 peasant farmers were killed. After his impeachment, he was replaced by Vice President Federico Franco, who has been a vocal critic of Lugo for the duration of his presidency. Lugo was one year away from completing his five-year term.

Other South American countries backed Lugo and criticized the impeachment. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez halted oil shipments to Paraguay and withdrew his ambassador from the country. Aregntina also withdrew its ambassador and Brazil recalled its top diplomat for consultations. Peru and Mexico also questioned the impeachment process, with only Mexico recognizing the legality of the impeachment.

Lugo, a leftist former Roman Catholic bishop, said his removal from office was "a parliamentary coup against the will of the people" and said he would back any peaceful effort to restore democracy.