MONTEVIDEO – Uruguay’s vice president submitted his resignation Saturday amid a scandal over his alleged misuse of a corporate credit card.
Raul Fernando Sendic told leaders of the ruling Broad Front coalition that he was stepping down, saying that his decision was final and that a report by the coalition’s Political Conduct Tribunal (TCP), an internal control body, contained no evidence to support the allegations.
The 55-year-old Sendic became embroiled in controversy after local weekly Busqueda reported that charges on his Ancap state oil company credit card included purchases of clothing, jewelry and electronic goods.
On Saturday, the Broad Front held a national plenary meeting to analyze the case.
After those purchases came to light, Sendic voluntarily appeared before the TCP so it could evaluate his use of that corporate card while he was a top official at Ancap, a company where he served as vice president from 2005 to 2009 and as president from 2009 to 2013.
On Aug. 1, the TCP wrapped up its investigation and issued a ruling that unanimously concluded that Sendic’s use of public funds had been “unacceptable.”
Party leaders had begun internal discussions to evaluate Sendic’s situation and weigh which measures to adopt.
But the vice president – the son of Raul “Bebe” Sendic (1925-1989), the historical leader and founder of the Tupamaros, a left-wing urban guerrilla group in the 1960s and 1970s – surprised his party colleagues by announcing his resignation
Rumors had surfaced months ago about Sendic’s plans to step down, but the high-ranking politician had denied them.