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Weekly Report - 01 August 2019 (WR-19-30)

PARAGUAY: Itaipú deal precipitates political crisis

Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo Benítez is facing a major political crisis with his political opponents pushing for his impeachment over the signing of a controversial bilateral agreement with the Brazilian government on the distribution of electricity produced at the Itaipú binational hydroelectric dam. The opposition argues that the agreement, which was secretly negotiated by the Abdo Benítez administration and signed without prior congressional approval, harms Paraguay’s national interests by surrendering the country’s right to take full advantage of its share of Itaipú electricity in order to please Brazil. Less than a year after assuming office in August 2018, Abdo Benítez must now find a way to garner sufficient political support to avert impeachment and complete his five-year term.

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