Paraguay Protesters Set Fire To Congress After Secret Vote

Paraguay Protesters Set Fire To Congress After Secret Vote
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Violent Protesters have stormed Paraguay’s National Congress building and set it on fire amid violent demonstrations over a secret Senate vote to approve a bill that would allow President Horacio Cartes to run for re-election.

There is no provision in the present constitution for a re-election since it was passed in 1992 after a brutal dictatorship fell in 1989.

“A coup has been carried out. We will resist and we invite the people to resist with us,” said Senator Desiree Masi from the opposition Progressive Democratic Party.

Media reported that protesters breaking the glass windows of the building after several hours of escalating violence and confrontations with police.

This controversial vote took place during a special session held in a closed office in Congress rather than on the Senate floor.

Opponents of the measure, who claim it would weaken the country’s democratic institutions, said the vote was illegal.

Protesters who marched in front of the Congress building in Asuncion were met by police wielding water hoses and firing rubber bullets.

The demonstrations grew more violent after nightfall, with protesters burning tires and removing parts of the fences surrounding the Congress building. Police in riot gear responded by lobbing tear gas at the protesters.

Source: Agencies (AFP, Reuters, Aljazeera)

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