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Presidential candidate publicly berates, intimidates critical journalist

(SPP/IFEX) - The SPP firmly repudiates the irresponsible, malicious and absurd accusations made by presidential candidate Lino Oviedo against "ABC Color" newspaper journalist Roberto González.

Oviedo, candidate for the Partido Unión Nacional de Ciudadanos Éticos (Punace) political party, an Asunción-based radio station that González accepted bribes to criticise him, and that "the clearest proof of this is to be found in his writings."

González, a former adjunct secretary general of the SPP and the current union representative for the employees of "ABC Color", has the full moral support of SPP, which can vouch for his impeccable personal and professional integrity.

González's opinions of Oviedo are openly expressed and well-known, and are shared by many other SPP members. The SPP considers Oviedo, as well as the economic-political elite and its party, the Partido Colorado, guilty of keeping Paraguay in its scandalous state of poverty. He is also suspected of being the mastermind behind a number of politically-motivated killings, though the justice system is apparently too subservient to the powers that be to convict him. This background makes his public accusations against González all the more ominous.

Oviedo is a member of the corrupt, mafia-like structure that keeps this country in its desperate state, even though he has managed to win, with his demagogic rhetoric, the support of some poor sectors.

Oviedo, in a clear display of his disrespect for free expression, is trying to discredit and intimidate any journalists who dare to criticise him. Accusations such as those directed against González are intended to silence critical voices.

The SPP plans to take legal actions against Oviedo, as such irresponsible statements should not go unpunished.

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