Paraguay’s former president changes tack before summit


AP

ASUNCION, Paraguay — Paraguay’s former president again shifted course on Tuesday, saying he has decided not to attend a South American summit this week where he had planned to protest his dismissal by Congress.

Fernando Lugo has surprised Paraguayans with conflicting announcements since the Senate voted to remove him from office last week. At first, he said he would comply and leave office. Then, he said he would fight the decision and make his case to the region’s leaders. After saying on Monday that he would travel to Mendoza, Argentina, for a summit of the Mercosur trade bloc, on Tuesday Lugo said he had decided against it.

“I don’t want the other presidents to feel pressured,” Lugo said on television. South American leaders plan to discuss a regional response to Lugo’s dismissal at the meeting, and Mercosur has barred Paraguay’s new government from attending.