MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — President Jose Mujica said Wednesday that he will consult with his successor about whether Uruguay should let six prisoners at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay resettle in the South American country.
Mujica agreed earlier this year to accept the men as a humanitarian gesture. The Pentagon gave Congress a legally required 30-day notice that it intended to transfer the prisoners to Uruguay from the base in Cuba.
But amid rising opposition at home, Uruguayan officials decided to postpone the resettlement at least until after the country's Oct. 26 elections.
Mujica said at a news conference Wednesday that "we will have to see the opinion of the new government."
"A president is a president, not a king. He can't do whatever it occurs to him to do," Mujica said.
Mujica, a onetime political prisoner who has said that accepting the men from Guantanamo would reflect Uruguay's tradition of taking in refugees, is barred from seeking re-election.
Opposition presidential candidate Luis Lacalle Pou has said he opposes the resettlement plan.
The six Guantanamo prisoners have not been charged with a crime and the U.S. says they do not pose a threat but cannot return to their home countries. U.S. law prohibits the transfer of any prisoners from Guantanamo to the United States for any reason.