Sunday 24 September 2017

Everything you need to know about the protests in Paraguay

By Prudence Wade

Demonstrators have set fire to the country’s congress.

Hundreds of protesters clashed with riot police outside of Paraguay’s Congress in the capital Asuncion on Friday night.

Here’s everything you need to know about what sparked these demonstrations.

What has happened?

Clashes erupted outside of the Paraguayan congress and demonstrators have set fire to the building.

Why are people protesting?

A majority in Paraguay’s Senate has approved a constitutional amendment allowing the re-election of a president to a second term, a move that was termed illegal by opposition members and opposed by the Senate president.

What does this mean?

It would allow current President Horacio Cartes and previous presidents to run for the top job again in the 2018 election. Presidents are now limited to a single 5-year term – a measure that was introduced in 1992, after 35 years of dictatorship.

What happens next?

To pass, the proposal also must be approved by the Chamber of Deputies, where 44 of the 80 members belong to the governing Colorado Party, who predominately voted yes in the Senate.

Opponents of the move include Senate President Roberto Acevedo of the opposition Authentic Radical Liberal Party.

If the bill stands, it is likely that Cartes will seek re-election.

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