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Paraguay's President Lugo ousted from power

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Paraguay's President Lugo ousted from power


Paraguay’s Congress has removed President Fernando Lugo from office after a rapid impeachment trial.

The left-wing leader was found guilty of mishandling armed clashes between police and farmers which resulted in 17 deaths.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly to oust him the day after a similar vote in the lower house.

The 61-year-old said the law had been “twisted like a fragile branch in the wind”. But he accepted the move, despite likening it to a coup.

“I submit myself to the decision by Congress and I am always willing to respond with my actions as ex-head of state,” he said.

Lugo has already been replaced, in line with Paraguay’s constitution. Federico Franco, until now vice president, has been sworn in.

Other South American countrie, suspecting a political move by right-wing groups, have sent a mission to Asuncion to defend democracy.

The streets of the capital saw clashes between police and supporters of the ousted leader.

Lugo came to power vowing to stand up for poor Paraguayans including Guarani Indians whose language he speaks, but struggled to carry out reform.

Protesters now fear the return of dictatorship.

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