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Accused of corruption, Paraguay’s vice president changes his position and remains in office

Paraguay's, Accused of corruption, Paraguay’s vice president changes his position and remains in office

Paraguay’s vice president, Hugo Velázquez, announced to the media on Thursday his decision to remain in office, at least for the time being, as the second man in Parliament.

The politician indicated that he will hold this position until he is in possession of the concrete accusation based on which the U.S. State Department accuses him of being “corrupt to a significant degree.”

On August 12, he announced his resignation as the Colorado Party candidate for president of the Republic and his immediate resignation from the post of vice president after being sanctioned by the U.S. government for alleged corruption cases.

Hugo Velázquez. (Photo internet reproduction)
Hugo Velázquez. (Photo internet reproduction)

“I have official confirmation that the Paraguayan Prosecutor General’s Office is not investigating me in any way, and unofficially that there is no investigation in the United States either,” he said.

In this sense, he indicated that he is confident that this judicial authority will ask the U.S. Embassy for information about the alleged crime of attempted bribery by which he is accused.

“At the very least, I need to know what is against me and how and where I will defend myself. Once I have this accusation, I confirm that I will resign and defend myself like a normal citizen,” he said.

“I have absolute certainty that there is no file in which I have a financial interest and to which they have referred to link me to the attempted bribery by a known person,” he added.

He said that if the Paraguayan Congress decides to impeach him if he does not resign, he will respect that decision since it is a constitutional right of lawmakers. However, he assured that he had the support of several deputies from different parties to remain in office.

Hugo Velázquez, who until last week was considered a candidate for the presidency of the Republic for the movement led by Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez, was replaced by former Public Works Minister Arnaldo Wiens, whose candidacy was officially confirmed by the Electoral Party Tribunal (TEP) of the National Republican Association (ANR).

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