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Former Ecuadorean President Seeks Asylum in Panama


Supporters of former President Abdala Bucaram cheer during meeting in Guayaquil, where Bucaram returned after 8 years exiled in Panama on April 2, 2005
A former Ecuadorean president has fled to Panama to seek asylum following a week of political turmoil in Ecuador.

Panamanian officials say Abdala Bucaram arrived in the country Tuesday. He had previously lived in exile in Panama for eight years.

Mr. Bucaram's presidency ended in 1997 after only a few months in office when Congress removed him for mental incompetence, forcing him to flee Ecuador. He was also accused of corruption.

He returned to Ecuador earlier this month after the Supreme Court annulled the corruption charges against him.

However, his return helped fuel the protests against President Lucio Gutierrez that led to his ouster last week. Mr. Gutierrez is now in Brazil where he has been granted asylum.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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