The Partisan Electoral Tribunal (TEP) of the ANR, announced that based on political and legal grounds, it has reached a unanimous conclusion for the favorable substitution of the candidacy of Hugo Velázquez for that of Arnoldo Wiens in the official movement of the Colorado Party ( “Republican Force”).
On Wednesday morning, representatives of the “Republican Force” movement submitted a request to replace the presidential candidacy via note. With this they sought to replace Hugo Velázquez with Arnoldo Wiens. The former resigned last Friday, minutes after being declared “significantly corrupt” by the United States government.
Santiago Brizuela, president of the Partisan Electoral Court (TEP) of the ANR, pointed out that his court has assumed the delicacy and the need for urgent attention due to the deep crisis that an unnecessary delay of the issue could generate. “In this way we have devoted ourselves to complying with the guarantees of due process and we have received two attorneys on the date so that they can express their arguments. We managed to get a glimpse of both movements,” he noted.
The hearing with the representatives of both movements began at 11 in the morning and lasted 45 minutes. Shortly after 3:00 p.m., TEP members called the press conference to make the announcement. In addition to Sebastián Brizuela, the following members of the TEP were present; Sebastián González, Armando González, Benito Torres, Artemio Castillo, José Emilio Argaña and Félix Ferrer Ortellado. The resolution on the favorable substitution consists of 13 pages.
“We call for partisan peace, we call for respect for party institutions, and above all for the Partisan Electoral Tribunal and to maintain the integrity of the electoral process to reach a coronation of the process,” he commented.
Brizuela pointed out that the ruling is legal but contains political foundations. “We are a legal and political court, we are in politics and the path is dialogue,” he said. According to article 127 of the Partisan Electoral Statute, rulings are not appealable, only actionable. In other words, if any of the internal movements of the ANR do not agree with this ruling, they may take action against them before the Superior Court of Electoral Justice (TSJE). It should be remembered that Chartism was the one that opposed the approval of the substitution.
Movements that do not agree with this ruling may resort to Article 39 of Law 635 (Which Regulates Electoral Justice) and Article 145 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Both were discarded by the TEP of the ANR for being incompatible with its legal syllogism since Article 160 of Law 834 (What the Paraguayan Electoral Code establishes) is in force, according to Brizuela.