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  • Opposition leader Rodrigo Quintana Quintana was killed in violent clashes sparked by a secret Senate vote.

    Opposition leader Rodrigo Quintana Quintana was killed in violent clashes sparked by a secret Senate vote. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 March 2018

Lawmakers have requested a political trial against President Horacio Cartes just a month before the presidential elections, scheduled for April 22.

A Paraguay opposition senator has requested a political trial against current President Horacio Cartes, who was in charge when police officers killed an opposition member almost one year ago.

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"I am inviting – sorry if that sounds excessive – I demand opposition leaders be patriots and request a political trial against Horacio Cartes" as a protest against "state terrorism," Senator Desiree Masi, from the Progressive Democratic Party, posted on her Twitter account.

She evoked the upcoming one-year anniversary of the police killing of opposition leader Rodrigo Quintana on March 31.

Quintana was killed in violent clashes sparked by a secret Senate vote on a constitutional amendment that allowed President Cartes to run for re-election.

Quintana, 25, was killed by a rubber bullet fired by police who entered the headquarters of the Liberal Party, the country's second-largest political party.

The request followed another political trial, this one launched by opposition Colorado representatives and targeting Paraguay's General Treasury Inspector Enrique Garcia over corruption charges.

Lawmakers requested a political trial against President Cartes just a month before the presidential elections, scheduled for April 22.

Cartes is also being questioned for his candidacy for a seat in Senate, with several leftist opposition parties appealing the decision by Asuncion's electoral court to allow him to run, including the Frente Guasu coalition, the Progressive Democratic Party and the Revolutionary Febrerista Party.

According to Frente Guasu, Cartes' candidacy is also not compatible with the National Constitution, articles 189 and 237, because the current president should be limited to the function of the presidency and not campaign for another position while in charge.

Cartes officially endorsed Colorado's presidential candidate Mario Abdo Benitez earlier in January.

Last year, the Frente Guasu defended the candidacy for senator of Fernando Lugo, Paraguay's first progressive president, who was ousted before the end of his mandate in 2012, arguing that he could not be considered as a senator in charge since the political trial, and therefore he could claim a seat at the Senate in the coming elections.


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