ASUNCION – The opposition Authentic Radical Liberal Party (PLRA) said on Monday it would skip the talks proposed by Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes unless the head of state scraps a bill opening the way for presidential re-election.
Violence erupted in Paraguay’s capital late Friday after news broke that senators had passed a constitutional amendment to authorize presidential re-election during a closed-door session.
Current legislation in Paraguay limits the nation’s president to just one term, in line with measures implemented after the fall in 1989 of the Stroessner dictatorship in the landlocked South American country.
The motion was due to be brought to the lower house for another vote on Saturday, but plans were postponed by Chamber of Deputies president Hugo Velazquez after protesters stormed and set fire to the legislative building, where both chambers are seated.
PLRA president Efrain Alegre told EFE on Monday that his party was also demanding that action be taken against the police commanders responsible for the death of 25-year-old Roberto Quintana, who was shot dead when police stormed the party’s headquarters just after midnight Friday.
Cartes called in a televised address Sunday for talks with the leaders of all political parties “with parliamentary representation” and the Paraguay Bishops Conference (CEP).
The CEP confirmed Monday that it would attend the talks, whose start date has not been announced by Cartes.
Cartes, of the Colorado Party, and former President Fernando Lugo, of the Guasu Front, have both announced plans to run for the presidency in 2018.