updated 10/4/2007 7:34:47 PM ET 2007-10-04T23:34:47

Paraguay’s vice president presented his resignation to Congress on Thursday so he can seek the ruling party’s nomination in 2008 presidential elections.

Luis Castiglioni is one of several people seeking the Colorado Party’s nomination for the presidency. The party will choose its candidate in mid-December.

Paraguay’s constitution requires that all candidates quit their current posts at least six months prior to the election, in this case April 20, but Castiglioni said he expects to continue as vice president until Congress formally decides whether to accept the offer.

A bitter critic of outgoing President Nicanor Duarte, Castiglioni is expected to face a tough primary battle against Duarte’s favorite, former Education Minister Blanca Ovelar, and party President Jose Alderete.

The Colorado Party, which has ruled since 1947, is being challenged by a former Catholic bishop, Fernando Lugo, who is backed by a seven-party opposition.

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