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Paraguay will ask Brazil to leave without effect a controversial act on binational hydroelectric

The dissemination of the document that was signed in May and established a timetable for the purchase of energy from the dam until 2022 generated questions from the opposition.

Paraguay's Foreign Minister Luis Alberto Castiglioni addresses the media in Asuncion, Paraguay July 28, 2019.

Reuters | Daniela Desantis

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The Paraguayan government announced on Sunday that it will ask Brazil to suspend the effects of a controversial act of contracting energy from the Itaipu bi-national hydroelectric power station, whose disclosure generated an internal crisis that pressured President Mario Abdo.

Leer en español: Paraguay pedirá a Brasil dejar sin efecto polémica acta sobre hidroeléctrica binacional

The dissemination of the document that was signed in May and established a schedule for the purchase of energy from the dam until 2022 generated questions from the opposition, which interpreted it as a cession of sovereignty and convened demonstrations against it.

Congress called on the Government to present all the documentation related to the minutes on Monday, while the employers' union regretted the "late communication" of the details of the energy agreement.

"We have decided to ask Brazil for the call of the high parties in the course of this week that begins, where we will request to cancel the bilateral act (...) so that it returns to the eminently technical instances," said Foreign Minister Luis Castiglioni to journalists.

"It has not been communicated properly (the signing of the document) and that has been used for a huge political manipulation, but with this decision taken we believe that we will have the fairest solution that corresponds to both Paraguay and Brazil," the minister added. from the presidential residence.

Abdo was scheduled to start an official trip to Turkey on Monday, which was suspended "until a new date," the presidency's address said without giving further details.

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The crisis broke out after the resignation of the president of the state electricity company ANDE, Pedro Ferreira, a close associate of the president who refused to sign the document. The Government said that the decision, which regularizes the conditions for contracting energy, was taken in diplomatic instances.

Castiglioni said he made contact with the Brazilian Foreign Minister, Ernesto Araújo. "He told me that he would gladly accept the call of the high command this week," he said.

Paraguay and Brazil are partners in Itaipu, the world's largest power generation plant, and are preparing to negotiate the entity's future in view of the expiration of a key annex to its founding treaty in 2023.

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