The lower house of Paraguay's Congress has voted overwhelmingly to reject a constitutional amendment that allowed the president to seek re-election. The proposal triggered riots last month, with protesters setting fire to part of the Congress building.
President Horacio Cartes fired Paraguay’s interior minister and chief of police on Saturday following the death of a young opposition party leader and violent overnight clashes sparked by a secret Senate vote for a constitutional amendment to allow presidential re-election.
A protester was killed in Paraguay after violent clashes overnight sparked by a secret Senate vote for a constitutional amendment that would allow conservative President Horacio Cartes to run for re-election. The political move also had the support and Senate votes from the left leaning former removed president Fernando Lugo, which polls show he has significant support ahead of the 2018 presidential election.
Protesters stormed and set fire to Paraguay's Congress on Friday after the Senate secretly voted for a constitutional amendment that would allow President Horacio Cartes to run for re-election, a change that will also require approval by the Lower House. The country's constitution has prohibited re-election since it was passed in 1992 after a brutal dictatorship fell in 1989.
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez announced the creation of a strategic fund geared to support public and private exports to Mercosur, following his confirmation that he will fly to Brazil for the formal incorporation of his country as a full member of the block that also includes Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and suspended Paraguay.
The Organization of American States Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza said that to suspend Paraguay from the OAS “would not contribute to the achievement of our objectives”, governance, the electoral process and institutional normality.
Brazil will wait for the Paraguayan situation caused by the removal of Fernando Lugo “to decant” before assessing the most appropriate measures to address the “rupture of democratic order” in the country, according to Planalto sources.
“There is no coup here,” assured the new president of Paraguay Federico Franco on Saturday, who acted confidently before the international press following the ousting of Fernando Lugo on Friday.
Ousted Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo addressed thousands of citizens outside the presidential palace and assured there had been a coup against democracy but also said he would respect the formality of the Senate’s decision and called on followers to march peacefully.
Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo was removed from office on Friday at 18:30 hours following an impeachment vote in the Senate where the motion was supported by 39 votes, four against and two absent.