Protesters in the Paraguayan capital have set fire to the National Congress Building on Friday following reports that the 45-member Senate secretly passed a constitutional amendment allowing President Horacio Cartes to run for re-election. Re-election had been illegal since the end of dictatorship government in 1989.
The opposition Progressive Democratic Party has called the move a coup and promised to resist the Senate’s actions.
Firefighters reportedly had the fire under control on Friday night, according to Reuters. Riot police were deployed to disperse the violent crowd.
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The National Congress Building in Asuncion was constructed in 2003 with US$20 million donated by the Taiwanese government. According to local media outlet Ultima Hora, 125 members of Congress also use laptops provided by Taiwan.
Taiwan and Paraguay have had diplomatic relations since July 8, 1957, and the South American nation is one of 21 countries that recognize Taiwan. Paraguay is the only nation in South America to recognize Taiwan.