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Paraguay’s President Gives Up Reelection Amendment after Popular Backlash

By: Karina Martín - Nov 1, 2016, 1:37 pm
No reelection in Paraguay for the moment: the country's president said he doesn't want to divide society by passing an unpopular constitutional amendment.
No reelection in Paraguay for the moment: the country’s president said he doesn’t want to divide society by passing an unpopular constitutional amendment.

EspañolPresident of Paraguay Horacio Cartes has requested that the draft of a constitutional amendment introduced by his party to allow for reelection be rejected.

“As a society we have it noted that the proposed amendment does not generate consensus,” his statement, published Monday, October 31, said.

Paraguay is among the handful of countries in Latin America that has a constitutional ban on all forms of reelection.

“The various interpretations (of the amendment) do not have clarity regarding legal viability and therefore can divide the Paraguayan society and fracture the Colorado Party,” Cartes said.

According to the Paraguayan president, the amendment has only generated “stress and tension” and said he would not be a participant in that way.

He also took the opportunity in the statement to ensure a correct characterization of his administration, which he said has always “prioritized transparency and the common good above sectarian interests.”

He said the process of re-election “should be in accordance with the National Constitution and accepted by all Paraguayan society.”

Cartes asked members of Congress to focus on addressing “the issues affecting our country, to improve the quality of life of all Paraguayans.”

He thanked the members of his party “who have warmly requested a re-election.”

The statement confirmed what in the morning legislators Bernardo Villalba and Hugo Velázquez had announced during a press conference in Mburuvichá Roga, the presidential palace.

Both lawmakers had assured that they would reject the amendment per the president’s request. On October 28, ruling party legislators had delayed voting on the amendment to save time and negotiate necessary the required two-thirds majority with other parties.

Sources: ABC; Última Hora, La Nación.

Karina Martín Karina Martín

Karina Martín is a Venezuelan reporter with the PanAm Post based in Valencia. She holds a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages from the Arturo Michelena University.