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Paraguay’s President Facing Impeachment

RIA Novosti

11:29 22/06/2012 MEXICO CITY, June 22 (RIA Novosti) - Paraguay's parliament has voted to begin impeachment proceedings against leftist President Fernando Lugo for his role in a deadly clash in which seventeen people were killed.

Lugo has faced strong condemnation over his mishandling of a forced land eviction in which seven police officers and at least ten farmers were killed.

Paraguay's president said he would not resign after parliament voted for his impeachment on Thursday.

"This is an 'express' coup because (lawmakers) have done this in the wee hours of the night. They have gotten together, and we believe this is even unconstitutional because it doesn't respect due process," he told television station Telesur late on Thursday.

Speaking on national television, Mr Lugo said: "This president announces that he is not going to present his resignation and that he will fully respect the constitution and the law to face the impeachment trial and its full consequences."

"There is no valid cause - neither legal nor political - to make me resign," the president said in his televised address.

Paraguay’s Senate will decide whether or not to remove Lugo from office. This state body is controlled by the opposition. Reports suggest only five out of 45 senators will support the president.

Bolivia’s president on Friday expressed his strongest condemnation of the attempted parliamentary coup brewing in the Paraguayan Congress against President Fernando Lugo, Prensa Latina news agency reported.

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