Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo was removed from office by the bicameral National Congress in the space of two days, so that, as of Friday night, he is the former president, according to multiple media sources.
The country's Chamber of Senators tried Lugo Friday on five charges of malfeasance in office, including an alleged role in a deadly confrontation between police and farmers that killed 17 this month, according to the Associated Press.
Former Vice President Federico Franco has already been sworn in as Lugo's successor, BBC News reported. Franco will serve the rest of Lugo's five-year term, which ends in August of next year.
The left-wing Lugo compared the move to a coup by the right-wing-controlled National Congress, but the former Roman Catholic bishop said he would accept the trial verdict, BBC News said.
Although the law's been twisted like a fragile branch in the wind, I accept Congress' decision, Lugo said in an address on national television, according to Reuters.
Lugo called for calm among his supporters, but he nonetheless contended, The history of Paraguay and its democracy have been deeply wounded.
In an appeal filed with Paraguay's Supreme Court before Lugo's trial on Friday, the former president's attorneys argued the hasty proceedings did not ensure due process and that they and their client should have been granted more time to prepare their case, BBC News reported.
However, legislator Carlos Maria Soler said the impeachment process was legal, as Reuters quoted him saying, There's nothing illegal here, there's no constitutional rupture, no coup.