Politicians in the South American country of Uruguay have come up with a compromise which they hope will avert a constitutional crisis.
Politicians in the South American country of Uruguay have come up with a compromise which they hope will avert a constitutional crisis. Troops moved into the capital, Montevideo, on Tuesday (15 May) as the Senate prepared to debate a military request, endorsed by President Juan Maria Bordaberry, to strip leftwing Senator Enrique Error of his parliamentary immunity.
A military court had made the request to enable it to try the 56-year-old senator on charges of complicity with the Tupamaro urban guerrilla group, against whom the armed forces have been waging a successful campaign of elimination.
On Thursday (17 May), the Chamber of Representatives was presented with a censure motion against the senator which, it was hoped, would replace the original impeachment motion dictated by the military. If passed by both houses, the new motion would require Senator Error to be tried by the Supreme Court instead of a military tribunal. The original motion has been returned to the armed forces with a request for more information, in the hope that it will be shelved.
Senators began debating the original impeachment motion on Wednesday (16 May) night amid fears that President Bordaberry would order the arrest of Senator Error anyway if the motion was not passed. Faced with this threat, a group of senators had pledged to impeach the President himself.
During Wednesday night's debate, armed police and troops ringed the Legislative Palace, closing in on Senator Error whenever he appeared outside the building.