PROTESTS IN PARAGUAY: CARTES NEEDS FIVE MORE YEARS TO PROSPER THE COUNTRY


04/04/2017




İlknur Şebnem Öztemel-TDO-  Paraguay faces sustainable instability after governments offer about a new constitutional amendment that makes President Horacio Cartes run for another five years as president.

A secret Senate vote happened regarding the proposal on the last Friday. 25-years-old, Rodrigo Quintana, killed by a police officer named Gustavo Florentín, during the protests. The proposal passed by the upper Senate. For the acceptance of the draft, it must also be approved by the Chamber of Deputies (lower house), where 44 of the 80 members belong to Cartes’s right-wing governing Colorado party. However, the voting in thelower house has been postponed as riots set afire the Parliament.

Following the unfortunate event, President Cartes offered his “most sincere condolences” to the family of Quintana and said that “the perpetrators of this horrendous episode will face justice”. He fired his interior minister and top police officials, hoping to prevent additional riots. He also asserted that some business and media interests instigated the protests. Moreover, he lamented as“citizens always pay with their personal sacrifice, while the promoters of these operations watch them on television without revealing their nefarious interests”.

Regardless of the political chaos in the country, Paraguay is a developing economy thanks to increasing soya bean, dairy products, and beef exports.   About the event, the president of Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), Luis Alberto Moreno called for peace and dialogue between sides and said Paraguay would continue to be a vital partner of the regional bank. In recent years, Paraguaystarted to attract foreign investors and President Cartes introduced tax breaks for them.

Furthermore, The Organization of American States, the US Embassy, and the Vatican have called for dialogue too. Besides, theAmerican embassy in Asunción called for any changes in the constitution should be done in an open and transparent way.

The main problem that took hundreds of people to the streets is the country’s imperial history and abuse of power by a senior military officer. Between 1954-1989, thestate had suffered under bloody dictatorship of General Alfredo Stroessner Matiauda. He was thrown out of office in a coup and democracy is secured in the state by the new constitution. According to the current constitution, it is prohibited to run for presidency for the second time. 


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