Cartes's term was due to end in August. Under the Paraguayan Constitution, a president may be elected only for a single five-year term, at the end of which they automatically become a senator for life, albeit without the right to vote. However, Cartes was able to retain the right to vote after winning a full Senate seat in April's general election. The president needed only to resign before the end of his term in order to be sworn in as a senator for future sessions.
"I present my letter of resignation as the president of the Republic of Paraguay to be able to continue serving my country in the Senate, fulfilling the people’s will expressed during the vote. May God bless Paraguay," Cartes wrote on his Twitter.
Presento mi renuncia al cargo de Presidente de la República del Paraguay. Para continuar sirviendo al país desde el Senado de la Nación, cumpliendo con la voluntad popular depositada en las urnas. ¡Dios bendiga al Paraguay! pic.twitter.com/sCaeR9rgbu— Horacio_Cartes (@Horacio_Cartes) May 28, 2018
The Chamber of Senators will now vote on whether to accept Cartes's resignation.
Cartes served as president since August 2013. Mario Abdo Benitez, who won the country’s presidential election in April, will assume office on August 15. Until then, Paraguayan Vice President Alicia Pucheta will serve as the country’s acting president.