Paraguayans go to the polls this Sunday at 7 am to elect the next president between the conservative Colorado Party and a coalition of disparate political and social forces that came together in 76 to oust them for a second time. Year.
Polls are due to close at 4:00 pm local time and official results are expected to be released two hours after close.
Some 15,380 electronic machines were enabled in schools across the country to receive the votes of 4.7 million voters. For the first time, this mechanism has been used at the national level to elect a successor to President Mario Abdo Benitez in a single electoral round for the term 2023–2028.
The media reported that the outgoing president, who does not have the right to re-election, was the first to vote. Paraguay’s electoral judge said on his Twitter account that elections began “normally” throughout the country.
The agency also indicated that Paraguayans in Spain had started voting on Sunday.
Exercising his right to vote, President Abdo Benitez said: “Great winner be the nation of Paraguay. Everyone’s participation is very important, today is the day we have to be leaders in building the future of the nation.
Paraguayans observe the day following a campaign that is often described by the media as one that many express uncertainty about the country’s future. On Sunday, local media reported some minor incidents in some schools in Asuncion between supporters of both forces to plant ballot boxes.
The conservative Colorado Party has ruled since 1947, including political support for dictator Alfredo Stroessner (1954–1989), except for a brief period of progressive color led by ex-Bishop Fernando Lugo in 2008 and early 2012. Finished. impeachment trial…
Its candidate is Santiago Peña, a 44-year-old economist who was sponsored by former president and magnate Horacio Cartes (2013–2018), a strongman in Paraguayan politics who was recently described by the United States as “grossly corrupt”. person” was declared.
“Today we define a country model,” Peña said in a message read at his campaign command before voting. “We choose a Paraguay that plans its future to make the big leaps we need or a country that navigates improvisation.”
The main challenge to the Colorado party’s hegemony appears to be a settlement with Efrain Alegre, the 60-year-old candidate for a new Paraguay, leader of the traditional Authentic Radical Liberal Party (PLRA), and a staunch opponent of Cartes.
The coalition seeks to oust the Colorado party from power this Sunday, in elections marked by allegations of corruption and the convenience of whether or not to maintain an alliance with Taiwan.
Alegre, who is in his third attempt to reach the presidency, is supported by several political and social organizations from center-right to left, who share social disillusionment due to exposure to endemic corruption, and substandard health, and education services. want to cash in. Vulnerability in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of drug crime.
“We know what we are up against. We are going to defeat organized crime and the enormous money that comes from illegality,” Alegre told reporters at his party offices. “Our opponent is not the Colorado party but the dirty money of organized crime. ”
Paraguay boasts a relatively stable economy but with structural problems that were out of the question during the campaign: labor informality that affects 7 out of 10 workers; Poverty of 24.7%, tax evasion, and drug trafficking, among others.