updated 1/15/2009 7:20:39 PM ET 2009-01-16T00:20:39

A Facebook photo showing Uruguay's interior minister in the shower has scandalized opposition leaders, who called her an "exhibitionist" on Thursday.

Daisy Tourne posted the snapshot on her own Facebook page above the caption, "there's nothing more natural than a woman in the shower," according to Montevideo newspaper El Pais.

The photo, reproduced on El Pais' Web site, shows only Tourne's hands and laughing face beneath running water.

Rather than posting critical messages on her Facebook "wall" or "poking" of the minister, opposition leaders went old-media with their criticism.

"I think it's in very bad taste that the minister exposes herself so intimately," former Vice President Luis Hierro Lopez told El Pais. "Ministers have to be more austere, modest — above all the Minister of the Interior," who commands the police force.

Lawmaker Jose Amorin called the photo "frivolous."

Tourne, 57, responded on her page on the popular social networking site, saying the photo was not made available publicly or intended to be erotic. She said it was taken in a shower used to rinse off sand after a visit to the beach, El Pais said.

The newspaper reported that ruling party lawmaker Victor Semproni backed Tourne, commenting below the picture: "I'm thinking about taking a photo of myself in the shower, but a full body shot."

Facebook has attracted more than 140 million users worldwide since it began in 2004.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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