(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - The revelation that Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo fathered a child while he was still serving as a Roman Catholic Priest has clearly had a negative effect on his public image, according to a poll by First Análisis y Estudios published in ABC Color. 54.4 per cent of respondents have a positive opinion of the president, down 38.6 points since last July.
In April 2008, Paraguayans voted in presidential and legislative elections. Lugo, a former Catholic bishop representing the left-leaning Patriotic Alliance for Change (APC), won the ballot with 42.3 per cent of the vote. Presidential candidates in Paraguay are not compelled to garner more than 50 per cent of the vote in order to win the election.
Lugo’s victory ended six decades of one-party rule in Paraguay. The National Republican Association - Red Party (ANR) had been in power since 1947, even during the dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner. Lugo—who is known in Paraguay as "the Bishop of the Poor"—took office in August 2008.
Last April, Lugo acknowledged that he fathered a child in 2006 while he was still a bishop, saying, "Here and now, before my people and my conscience, I declare with absolute honesty and a sense of duty and transparency in relation to the controversy provoked by the paternity suit, that there was a relationship with Viviana Carrillo. I assume all responsibilities (...) and recognize the paternity of the child."
On Jun. 21, Lugo declared: "It is time to re-think celibacy in Latin America and around the world."
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