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Paraguay says suspension from Mercosur not legal

TAIPEI--A Paraguay diplomat based in Taipei said yesterday his country's suspension from the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) was “illegal” and that Paraguay has been treated unfairly.

“None of the countries have the right to intervene in our internal affairs,” Carlos Jose Fleitas, charge d'affaires of the Embassy of the Republic of Paraguay in Taipei said.

He said the other members of Mercosur — at the time Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay — had violated the Treaty of Asuncion by not giving Paraguay a chance to defend itself in the Mercosur court.

The three countries decided in June to suspend Paraguay's membership over the impeachment of its President Fernando Lugo by Paraguay's Congress on June 22. The two-hour impeachment trial of Lugo was considered undemocratic by other members of the bloc, which at that time did not include Venezuela.

However, Fleitas said democracy prevails in his country and former Vice President Federico Franco has succeeded Lugo as the new president in accordance with the country's Constitution.

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