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Paraguay Senate lifts presidential term limits

[JURIST] Paraguay's Senate [official website] on Friday approved a constitutional amendment lifting Paraguay's one-term rule for presidents. Put in place by Paraguay's 1992 Constitution [text] following long-term dictatorship, the current rules limit the president to one five-year term. Current president Horacio Cartes [Britannica profile] is seeking to lift the one five-year term limit, a measure supported in the Senate by 25 of 45 legislators. The vote will now go to the Chamber of Deputies [official website], where 44 of the 80 members belong to the president's Colorado Party [official website]. If approved there, the vote will go to a national referendum. In the interim, protests have erupted outside Congress, with at least one protestor reported killed and the Congressional building burned.

Opponents of the term-limit lift assert that to do so is unconstitutional, including Senate President Roberto Acevedo of the opposition Authentic Radical Liberal Party, who argued [LA Times report] that the means used to bring the amendment to a vote violated Senate rules. Paraguay's term-limit vote largely mirrors other corruption issues worldwide. The same day, the recently-impeached South Korea President Guen-Hye Park was arrested [JURIST report] on charges of bribery, coercion, abuse of power, and leaking government secrets. Park may be facing an additional nine other charges and can be held behind bars for up to 20 days during the course of the investigation. Earlier that week Attorney General Edgar Veytia of the state of Nayarit, Mexico, was arrested [JURIST report] on charges of international narcotics trafficking conspiracy. Earlier in the month Argentinian Federal Judge Claudio Bonadio ordered [JURIST report] former President Cristina Kirchner to stand trail in a multi-billion dollar fraud case. Kirchner and 14 other government officials have been accused of collaborating in an attempt to to defraud the Argentinian government of $3.5 billion by selling the Central Bank of Argentina's dollar futures at below-market rates.

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