President of Uruguay leaves Socialist Party after rift over abortion

.- An official from Uruguay’s Socialist Party revealed this week that President Tabare Vazquez resigned from the party several days ago after he broke with the party and vetoed a law that would have legalized abortion in the country.

According to sources quoted by the newspaper El Observador, Vazquez sent a letter to the party’s secretary general, Eduardo Fernandez, requesting that his affiliation with the party be terminated. He had been a member of the Socialist Party since 1983.

The newspaper explained that Vazquez resigned in response to the Socialist Party’s support for overriding his veto of the law on sexual and reproductive health, which would have legalized abortion, and for the criticism he received because of his decision.

Uruguayan lawmakers were unsuccessful in their attempt to override the presidential veto.

Other reports indicated the president also left the party over a lack of support for his proposals during the elections of October 2009.

“The resignation was made a few days ago. It is a painful decision, the president says so himself, and it is for us as well, and we will do everything we can to get him to stop this resignation,” Socialist Senator Monica Xavier said in a radio interview.

Vazquez, who is a doctor by profession, based his veto on the fact that the law was an attack on human life and freedom of conscience.


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