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Paraguay's Lugo condemns 'parliamentary coup'

•, Agencies

The deposed Paraguay president Fernando Lugo has branded the country's new government illegitimate and called for a return to democratic rule following his sudden impeachment two days ago.

Lugo, 61, a leftist former Roman Catholic bishop, said on Sunday his removal from office was "a parliamentary coup against the will of the people" and said he would back any peaceful effort to restore democracy in the soy-exporting South American nation.

Congress voted overwhelmingly on Friday to remove Lugo from office on Friday, saying he had failed in his duty to maintain social order following a bloody land eviction.

The clashes killed six police and 11 peasant farmers.
Under the Paraguayan constitution, the impeached president was replaced by Vice-President Federico Franco, a vocal critic of Lugo for much of his presidency. Lugo was one year away from completing his five-year term.

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