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  HOME | Paraguay

Paraguay Outgoing President Faces Obstacles to Taking Senate Seat

ASUNCION Ė Mondayís resignation request by Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, which took place almost three months before the end of his term in order for him to be sworn in as a senator on July 1, faced obstacles in Congress on Wednesday because of a lack of quorum.

Absent lawmakers rejected the possibility that Cartes become a full senator, arguing that the Paraguayan constitution establishes that former presidents automatically become senators for life without the right to cast votes.

Cartes, however, won a Senate seat in Aprilís general election, hence his plan to resign as president to be sworn in as a full senator with the right to vote.

Some of the absent lawmakers included senators from the ruling Colorado Party who are close to President-elect Mario Abdo Benitez, senators from the main opposition Liberal Party, as well as the five senators from the Guasu Front, a left-wing electoral alliance led by former President and current Senator Fernand Lugo.

The lack of quorum has halted Cartesís plans to take up a Senate seat, as he would need to leave office by June 30 to be sworn in as a full senator on July 1.

The Colorado Party, however, can still request new congressional sessions to address his resignation request.

Should Cartesís request be approved, Vice President Alicia Pucheta would become acting president until Abdo Benitezís inauguration on Aug. 15.

 

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