World Bulletin / News Desk
Paraguay's new center-right president swore in his cabinet on Monday as neighboring nations intensified diplomatic pressure over the sudden impeachment of his leftist predecessor, Fernando Lugo.
Federico Franco took office on Friday, moments after Lugo - a former Roman Catholic bishop - was ousted by the opposition-controlled Congress in an impeachment hearing that lasted less than six hours.
Lugo's sudden ouster a year from the end of his term has drawn strong criticism and diplomatic sanctions from many governments in a region scarred by coups and political instability in the 1970s and 1980s.
They want to send a stern warning about the consequences of removing a democratically elected leader, even if Lugo's chances of returning to power appear remote.
Lugo initially said he accepted Congress's decision, prompting some governments to recognize Franco's administration. He has taken a tougher line, however, as regional pressure mounts on Franco - Lugo's former vice president and one of his harshest critics.
On Monday, Lugo compared himself to former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted in 2009 by the army on the basis of a court order that had backing from Congress.
Senator Carlos Filizzola, a close Lugo ally and former interior minister, said "re-establishing democratic order means that President Lugo, who was elected legally and legitimately ... returns to the post that is rightfully his."
Franco held his first cabinet meeting on Monday and the president of Congress, Jorge Oviedo Matto, shrugged off the international pressure and said the change of government was "irreversible" and in line with the constitution.
Franco's administration has been banned from attending a summit this week of the Mercosur trade bloc, which also groups Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, and many countries have called back their ambassadors, permanently or for consultations.
Lugo will take part in the gathering and officials say Paraguay could be suspended from the bloc and the UNASUR group of South American nations will meet on Friday during the Mercosur summit in Mendoza, Argentina, to discuss the crisis.
Lugo's removal was triggered by clashes that killed six police and 11 peasant farmers during a land eviction earlier this month.
Paraguay is one of the poorest countries in South America and Lugo, 61, vowed to improve the quality of life of low-income families when his election ended six decades of rule by the conservative Colorado party.
But he struggled to push reforms, including land redistribution to poor peasant farmers, through Congress. A cancer scare and several paternity scandals dating back to his time as a bishop added to his difficulties.
When his allies from the Liberal Party formally withdrew support for him on Thursday, they cleared the way for the impeachment trial.
Franco named economist Manuel Ferreira as economy minister and said Jorge Corvalan would stay on at the central bank.
The announcement is part of an effort to resolve a mounting political crisis over long-delayed elections
The fatal Tarpon shooting occurred less than a day after New York City Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were executed in their squad car
Veteran politician Beji Caid Essebsi claimed victoryTunisian presidential run-off, seen as the final step to full democracy nearly four years after an uprising ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.
The military prosecution included to the list of charges rioting and committing violent acts against police and military forces, which led to the death of ten people.
Barzani says fight with ISIL will take long in a press conference on Mount Sinjar, a day after his Peshmerga forces wrestled control of Sinjar district from ISIL
Amir-Hossein Zamaninia will replace former Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Ali Majedi, who left three months ago to become ambassador to Germany
Many Palestinians in Syria had been subjected to forced displacement and that the conditions of Palestinian refugees in Syria have greatly deteriorated since the 2012
Kurdish premier Barzani describes the move as a "very important step"
The clashes began when Houthi armed militants blew up the house of tribal leader Yehia Taqi Markoub in the village of Darb Obaid of the Arhab district
Death toll for Central Java disaster stands at 95 with 13 missing
Militants were involved in 2003 attack on General Musharraf
The surprise announcement comes two days ahead of the second round of voting for president and follows a disappointing result for the government
Relations between the two soured when Somaliland, that enjoyed relative peace all through Somalia's civil war period, declared independence through referendum
Al-Qaeda had claimed a Thursday attack by two Katyusha rockets at a gas liquefaction plant co-operated by Total in Balhaf gas export terminal on the Gulf of Aden
Security forces raided the Sudanese Observatory for Human Rights, just weeks after jailing its former leader, the monitoring group's leader said
"I'm going to be doing everything I can to close it," Obama said on CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley," program in an interview