Paraguay's new president, Federico Franco, said he would turn to his ousted predecessor Fernando Lugo to help extricate the country from a wave of international protests over his abrupt removal from power.
With condemnation pouring in from neighboring states, Franco told AFP he was trying to reach Lugo to enlist his help.
"Right now I'm trying to speak with president Lugo. I'm going to do it. I think his presence as a Paraguayan is very important to give an international image, because right now we need a legally constituted government," he said in an interview in his office.
Franco said he planned to ask Lugo "to help us prevent Paraguay from receiving an absolutely unjust, unnecessary and unpopular punishment."
No foreign government has recognized Paraguay's new leadership so far, as the impoverished South American country hangs in a delicate balance amid a rare economic boom.
Brazil and Argentina recalled their ambassadors, both calling the summary impeachment and dismissal of Lugo on Friday by a 39-4 vote of the Paraguayan senate a "rupture of the democratic order."
"The imposition of a new president under these conditions is not consistent with fundamental democratic practices," said Uruguay, another neighbor that also called back its envoy to Asuncion for consultations.
The secretary general of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, called the snap impeachment a "disrespect to due process."
Insulza said the Americas had once again witnessed "a summary judgment that, while formally in keeping with the law, did not appear to fulfill all the legal precepts of the right to a legitimate defense."
Franco, who served as Lugo's vice president, earlier defended the ouster of his predecessor as being in compliance with the country's constitution, and he insisted "there was no coup."
"There are no soldiers in the street," he added as calm reigned in the streets of the capital and across this small, landlocked country.
But he acknowledged he was concerned about the international reaction.
"We will make our best efforts to get in touch with neighboring countries to try to demonstrate our clear commitment to democracy," he said.
Franco met earlier with the Vatican's envoy Agustin Arietti, and with the German ambassador Dirk Niebel, who said his government viewed the ouster as "a normal change of government, not by means of elections, but a normal process."
Lugo's lawyers had just two hours to present their case on his behalf in the Senate impeachment trial.
He was accused of poor handling of an armed clash June 15 that claimed the lives of six police and 11 squatters on a privately-held farm.
The torrent of furious responses to the ouster came not just from traditional leftist allies like Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner took to her Twitter account to repeat that "Argentina will not validate the coup in Paraguay."
Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela said they would not recognize the new government, while the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said the speedy transition of power had "affected the rule of law."
"It's a travesty of justice and an affront to the rule of law to remove a president in 24 hours, with no guarantees to defend himself," IACHR executive secretary Santiago Canton said in a press conference.
The first major international event the new government had been expected to attend is a summit of South America's Mercosur trading bloc in Argentina on Thursday and Friday.
But Franco told AFP he would not go if his presence would make matters worse.
Peru said it had offered to host a presidential summit of Mercosur leaders next week to assess the situation in Paraguay.
Brazil said members of Mercosur and Unasur, another regional bloc, were considering what measures should be applied to Paraguay in light of the developments.
Franco noted that any blockade of Paraguay would hurt Brazilian entrepreneurs, who have major interests in the country. Sixty percent of Paraguay's trade is with Brazil.
"Brazilian citizens living in the country, as always, will receive preferential treatment," he said, referring to the so-called brasiguayos, wealthy farmers who exploit the most fertile land in Paraguay.