- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo has been hit with three paternity claims in the past two weeks. As if that weren’t embarassing enough, he allegedly fathered the children while he was a catholic bishop:
The president, 57 and single, has admitted fathering one of the children and has not denied the other two paternity claims. There are rumours of yet more revelations in the pipeline.
The scandal has undermined Lugo’s image as a moral force for change who would clean up Paraguay’s corrupt and stagnant politics. The charismatic former cleric, known as the “bishop of the poor”, was elected last year and joined the region’s “pink tide” of leftist rulers.
Lugo has cancelled a trip to Washington this week to deal with the allegations.
Interestingly, there’s a debate as to whether the scandal will help or hurt Lugo in the long run. His poll numbers have taken a hit but ultimately, “Lugo has given proof of his virility and that is an inherent attribute that a part of the population expects from its leader,” according to one analyst.