NEWS

Paraguay may succumb this Sunday to the leftist tide in Latin America


Paraguay is called to the polls on Sunday in an election that offers an update on previous elections. One major difference is that electronic polls were used in almost the entire country (before part was done manually), but this does not guarantee that there will be no disputes, delays or hiccups in the process. In fact, plaintiffs from both parties can participate as observers, which means friction is not out of the question. On the part of electoral justice, the result is expected to be announced tomorrow night (as there is no second round), unless some incident prevents it.

Concern about possible riots is growing, especially after the intensified demonstrations in 2021 against the Colorado Party, which rules the country, which even led to the burning of its headquarters.

Unlike the previous elections, the campaign was more tense and polarized, mainly due to the sudden increase in the popularity – according to the latest opinion polls – of the opposition, Efrain Alegre. One of the protagonists of the campaign was the “fake news” and defamatory attacks in the media, especially directed towards Allegri.

The positive side of these developments is that for the first time in decades the opposition coalition has ensured its presence and monitoring at all polling stations in the country to prevent attempts to manipulate voters. Major polls point to a very narrow result (34.3% intent to vote for Santiago Peña, compared to 32.8% for Efraín Alegre)indicating that there is a high probability that the difference between the winning candidate and the losing candidate is negligible.

If the conservative party in government wins the elections, it will maintain the pattern it has maintained for decades, dominating Paraguayan politics since the era of the dictatorial government of Alfredo Stroessner (1954-1989). This power was out of power only during the tenure of left-wing priest Fernando Lugo (2008-2012), who was the protagonist of a controversial dismissal.

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As for who are the main candidates for this electoral call, the official body was presented Santiago Pena, 44 years old, was Minister of the Economy in the government of Horacio Cartes and is considered to be under his patronage. While in the past this would have been an important factor in his victory, today it is a weak point. Cartes, the country’s richest businessman for owning banks, tobacco companies and supermarkets, has accumulated complaints of smuggling and drug-trafficking ties in other countries. The United States even issued a search warrant against him. Because of these circumstances, Cartes was absent from the election campaign.


The new political map of America

left/far left

The latest trend changes

(2020-2022)

Xiomara Castro, from Honduras, has been president since January 2022

Gustavo Petro in Colombia, in August 2022

Dina Boulwart in Peru, December 2022

louis ars,

Bolivia in November 2020

Paraguay will differ this sunday between

Santiago Peña (Conservative) and Efrain Alegre (Progressive)

Lula da Silva in Brazil, October 2022

Gabriel Boric in Chile, March 2022

fountain: special detail / abc

The new map

American politician

left/far left

The latest trend changes

(2020-2022)

Xiomara Castro, from Honduras, has been president since January 2022

Gustavo Petro in Colombia, in August 2022

Dina Boulwart in Peru, December 2022

louis ars,

Bolivia in November 2020

Lula da Silva in Brazil, October 2022

Gabriel Boric in Chile, March 2022

Paraguay will differ this sunday between

Santiago Peña (Conservative) and Efrain Alegre (Progressive)

Critical faction

Peña is part of the Colorada faction that was decisive and provided some internal opposition to the more traditional section of the group, which consisted of older members who had been in the party for many years. The current president, Mario Abdo Benitez, represents the most traditional Chartism. Tensions between the two factions led to attempts to depose Abdou Benitez on more than one occasion during his tenure.

In remarks to the ABC, Peña emphasized that he was not a “blind advocate of the Colorado Party. My criticisms are public, but I recognize that it is a force that has lodged itself in Paraguayan culture in a very powerful way.”

Asked about the praise he has devoted in the past to Stroessner’s dictatorial period (1954-1989), Peña replied: “Colorado is an organized force that managed to get Stroessner out while there was time. As for my praise, it is limited to the fact that, during his tenure, there was A strong political agreement, without concern for presidential succession, so that it allowed long-term policies to be designed and maintained, without the insecurity caused by elections. Politics. Stroessner was responsible for more than 50 years of stability in the country. This does not mean that I condone the human rights violations that committed during that period.

for his partEvren Allegri The politician, who tried to be president twice and was a minister in Lugo’s brief government, is known as a liberal centrist. What is remarkable about his candidacy is that he managed to unite the various anti-Colorado currents into a grand left-of-center coalition, almost unprecedented in the country.

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Efrain Alegre has taken as his motto the demands that people take to the streets in 2021, such as fighting corruption, improving health services and housing plans, issues that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. The country has a high percentage of informal work (65% of the market), which translates to low state earnings. While poverty, according to official figures, affects 30% of the Paraguayan population.

A common goal

Efrain is not worried about the risk that a coalition as large as his will suffer the same problems that the governments of Chile and Colombia are currently experiencing. “It is possible to overcome these kinds of impeachment disputes when you are willing to reach a broad consensus. Between us there will be no internal strife as we all share the common goal of defeating the Colorado party.”

On a regional and geopolitical level, there are issues of great importance that depend on Sunday’s outcome. For example, the debate about the flexibility of Mercosur, which was supported by Abdou Benitez and Lacalle Poe of Uruguay, but was opposed by Argentina. Negotiations on a trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union are also on hold. Finally, there is another related issue involving China. The Colorado Party maintains that it is important to support Taiwan, while Allegri maintains that this support harms Paraguay, as it makes it unable to deal with China.

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