Former presidents of Uruguay, José Mujica, and Julio María Sanguinetti, resigned their seats in the Senate on Tuesday, in an extraordinary session in the parliamentary chamber that was filled with applause and tears from the legislators.
The 85-year-old leader of the Broad Front (BF) revealed that he took such decision because he has a chronic immune disease.
“I love politics and I would not want to leave, but I love my life even more,» he said, adding that the pandemic forced him to retire «with much regret for my deep political vocation and to request my resignation from a seat that was granted to me by the people.»
Mujica was a member of the National Liberation Movement-Tupamaros. He was imprisoned for 15 years. Then he was a senator between 2000 and 2005 and from 2015 to 2018. He held the Presidency of Uruguay in the period 2010-2015, and again he held a seat in the Senate since October 2019 and was due to conclude his term in 2025.
I went through everything in this life, I was tied by a wire for six months, with my hands behind my back, I was two years without being taken to bathe and I had to bathe myself with a glass. I’ve been through everything, but I don’t hate anyone and I want to tell young people that triumphing in life is not winning, but getting up every time I fall.
Mujica gave an emotional thanks to his colleagues and the employees of the House. According to him, his departure does not “mean abandoning politics, but abandoning the front line”.
In my garden, I haven’t cultivated hate for decades. I learned a hard lesson that life imposed on me. Hate ends up making people stupid
Sanguinetti, 84 years old, said that «political parties are the ones that channel, guide, structure and articulate, and that is fundamental, especially in times of advertising bubbles and social networks.»
«The concept of political representation is in crisis,» said the former president of the South American country (1985-1990 and 1995-2000).