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  • Senator Ruben Dario shows a document signed by other legislators asking President of the Congress Fernando Lugo for a special session regarding Cartes

    Senator Ruben Dario shows a document signed by other legislators asking President of the Congress Fernando Lugo for a special session regarding Cartes's resignation. May 28, 2018. | Photo: EFE

Published 29 May 2018

President Horacio Cartes presented his resignation to become a senator, despite the fact that the constitution prohibits it.

The President of the Paraguayan Congress Fernando Lugo said Tuesday that five senators from Guasu Front stated that they wouldn't attend Wednesday's session, which will review President Horacio Cartes's decision to resign to become an active senator.

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Paraguayan President Submits Resignation

Members of the Guasu Front along with other opposition political parties have called Cartes's move to be sworn in as an active Senator unconstitutional since the constitution established that an ex-president becomes a senator without a voice nor vote for life automatically.

Both Lugo's party and the Liberal Party, the largest in the opposition, will attempt to boycott Wednesday's session so that the body would be unable to establish the quorum needed to have the motion heard and prevent Cartes from leaving his position.

Cartes needs a simple majority in both legislative chambers (41 representatives and 23 senators) to approve his resignation.

The Guasu Front issued a press release stating that the constitution prohibits Cartes from being sworn in as an active senator as he intends.

Efrain Alegre, president of the Liberal Party, also called on its party's legislators to refrain from attending the special congress session Wednesday.

Alegre, who ran in April's presidential elections, also invited the Colorado Añetete dissident faction, led by president-elect Mario Abdo Benitez, of the ruling Colorado Party to do the same. 

If the congresses accept the resignation, former Justice of the Supreme Court Alicia Pucheta, who was appointed as vice president a few weeks ago, will become the first female president in the history of the country for a short period until the recently elected President Mario Abdo Benitez is sworn in on August 15.

Pucheta belongs to the far right faction of the Colorado Party and opposed progressive initiates like abortion rights, and the opposition doesn't consider her interim presidency as an advancement for the feminist movement.


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