24 Jun 2012

President's removal not a coup - successor

1:16 pm on 24 June 2012

New President Federico Franco of Paraguay says the removal from office of his predecessor, Fernando Lugo, was not a coup.

Mr Franco insists there has been no break with democracy.

The BBC reports he was sworn in on Friday after President Lugo was impeached. Congress voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to remove him from office.

Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Dominican Republic and Venezuela have said they will not recognise the new head of state.

Brazil said on Saturday it is consulting the other members of the Union of South American Nations before stating its position.

However, Mr Franco said he is confident he can secure full regional recognition.

He has attended a mass for peace in Paraguay at the metropolitan Cathedral in Asuncion.

Mr Franco will serve until the end of Mr Lugo's five-year term in 2013.