One man was reported dead after protesters in Paraguay attacked the Congress building on Friday to protest a bill that would lift presidential term limits, a move that could see President Horacio Cartes run for re-election. Police reportedly used rubber bullets, mounted units and water cannons to deal with angry demonstrators, who stormed Congress and set fire to the building before ransacking offices. Lawmaker Efrain Alegre told local media that one protester was killed in clashes with police, and a witness was cited by the BBC as saying there were “a lot of battles” in the street. The chaos prompted Congress to suspend this weekend’s vote on the matter. Local media reports suggested that several protesters were injured in the demonstrations in the capital Asunción, though further details were not available. Cartes blamed the unrest on his opponents and the media, saying in a Friday night statement that they had the “objective of destroying democracy.” The bill has renewed fears of a dictatorship in a country still recovering from the rule of General Alfredo Stroessner, who was ousted in 1989. The current Constitution, seeking to prevent another dictatorship, imposed a strict limit on future presidents, limiting them to one five-year term.
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