23:46 GMT +319 November 2019
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    A youth holds a national Paraguay national flag as he marches with others in protest against the project to change the country's constitution, in Asuncion, Paraguay, Thursday, March 30, 2017.

    Lower House of Paraguay’s Parliament Rejects Presidential Reelection Bill

    © AP Photo / Jorge Saenz
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    Paraguay’s lower house of parliament voted on Wednesday to throw out a bill that would have allowed President Horacio Cartes to seek reelection next year amid massive protests in the country.

    MONTEVIDEO (Sputnik) —The bill was approved by an alternative Senate, which was established by the ruling Colorado Party and held "parallel sessions," passing laws favorable to the country's leader.

    "The project to amend the constitution has been rejected and archived unanimously with one abstention," Chamber of Deputies speaker Hugo Velazquez told reporters after the vote.

    The draft prompted protesters to set fire to the parliament. Police used rubber bullets to disperse the crowds, and one activist was killed.

    Horacio Cartes, who assumed the office in 2013, said last week he would not stand for president in 2018, whatever the deputies’ decision, in a bid to restore peace in the country. The current law limits his time in office to five years.

    Related:

    Over 200 People Detained in Paraguay Amid Protests Against Legislation Changes
    Paraguayan Leader Calls for Order as Protesters Set Congress Building on Fire
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