Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

PERSPECTIVE

'Macron sees high earners as key to getting the French economy moving again'

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'Shut Up and Drive': Saudi's paradoxical stance after female activists arrested

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

$2.3bn for two million songs: Sony buys majority stake in EMI

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Burundi approves new constitution allowing president to extend time in power

Read more

THE DEBATE

Populist takeover: Italy approves unprecedented coalition

Read more

FOCUS

Young Nicaraguans lead protests against President Ortega

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Opera singer Lawrence Brownlee, Snow Patrol & Natalie Prass

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn: 'Either we import stability, or we export instability'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

From Italy to Cyprus via Hungary: A look back at key events in Europe

Read more

Americas

President Lugo faces three love child claims

Latest update : 2009-04-24

Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo has insisted he will not resign despite claims from three women that he fathered children with them when he was a Catholic priest, before becoming president. He claimed he had succumbed "in a moment of weakness".

AFP - Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo said Friday he would not resign despite claims from three women that he fathered children with them while he was a Catholic priest before taking power.
  
Lugo said in a televised news conference that he would stay until the end of his mandate in 2013 regardless of "the rumors of instability and conspiracy."
  
"I ask for forgiveness," he added.
  
"It was not my intention to offend anyone and if anyone feels upset or hurt in this situation, I don't hesitate to ask for forgiveness in recognizing that I failed the church, the country, the citizens, those who put their trust in me."
  
The leftwing president, 57, last week recognized his paternity of one child, born nearly two years ago to a 26-year-old woman. He said anyone can succumb to temptation in a moment of weakness.
  
But he has not admitted to fathering any more.
  
In the news conference, Lugo demurred, saying those issues were "private, and the constitution guarantees the right to privacy."
  
The paternity claims -- all arriving within days of each other -- have dented the huge popularity that swept the former bishop into the presidency in August, ending 61 years of one-party conservative rule in his poor South American nation.
  
Lugo gave up his priestly robes in December 2007 to stand for election.
  
But a Roman Catholic bishop, Rogelio Livieres, alleged this week that Lugo surrendered his clerical post after written claims from at least two women that he had fathered their children.
  
In the latest case, a 39-year old day-care center director, Damiana Hortensia Moran Amarilla, said this week Lugo was the father of her 16-month-old son.
  
She also alleged he had fathered at least six children in total with various women.
  
On Monday, one of the three women to have gone public, Benigna Leguizamon, 27, threatened to seek a court order for DNA testing to prove Lugo was the father of her six-year-old son.
  
Under Paraguay's constitution, the congress can force the president out of office with a two-thirds majority vote.
  
But Interior Minister Rafael Filizzola has asserted that, also under the constitution, Lugo could not be deposed for a sex scandal.
  
Paraguay's vice president, Frederico Franco, has said he was "disappointed" in Lugo but on Thursday stated he would not support a political trial against the head of state.
  
The scandal appeared to play a role in prompting the Paraguayan ruler to abandon a US visit which had been set for Thursday. An aide, though, said Lugo scuttled his Washington visit "because of a packed schedule."
  

Date created : 2009-04-24

COMMENT(S)