Paraguay President sacks top officials after protests

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Asuncion, April 2 (IANS) Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes has sacked the Interior Minister and the chief of police after Friday night’s violent protests against a bill that would allow the President to run for a second term in office.

The protestors stormed the Congress and set fire to the building, the BBC reported.

The authorities have arrested four police officers after a 25-year-old protestor, Rodrigo Quintana, was killed on Saturday.

Around 200 protestors were detained but many have since been released.

The protestors had taken to the streets following a private meeting of 25 senators — a slight majority of the house — which approved a bill to amend the Constitution.

Paraguay was controlled by military ruler General Alfredo Stroessner, who seized power in a coup, from 1954 until 1989.

The current Constitution, created in 1992 after the dictatorship, limits the head of state to a single five-year term.

Protestors were angered by the bill which would have allowed President Cartes’ to remove the restriction and run for re-election, reports the BBC.

The bill must also be approved by the other house of Parliament — the Chamber of Deputies — where President Cartes’ party holds a majority.

President Cartes’ term is due to end in 2018.

–IANS

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