By electing Santiago Peña, Paraguay maintains conservative hegemony
Published 5/1/2023 10:08 am | Edited 5/2/2023 3:23 PM
Paraguay elected Santiago Peña as President of the Republic and Pedro Alliana as Vice President, for the next five years, starting in August. With this, it reaffirms the hegemony of the Colorado Party, which has been in power for more than seven decades. Contrary to the international trend, the party won, even though it went through the wear and tear of the pandemic.
With more than 99% of the polls counted, Peña gets 42.8% of the votes [1,2 milhão de votos totais] and an advantage of almost 16 percentage points over the second-placed, progressive Efraín Alegre, from the Liberal Party, who has 27.5%, who had the support of former left-wing president Fernando Lugo. Unlike what happens in Brazil, there is no second round in Paraguay.
The third place this year was the ultranationalist Payo Cubas, from the Cruzada Nacional party. He won about 22.9% of the vote, nearly 700,000 total votes, achieving the best far-right result in Paraguay’s history. Another representative of the extreme right, former goalkeeper José Luis Chilavert, had less electoral expression.
Aged 44, the new president of Paraguay was 37 years old and was already Minister of Finance, the youngest in the country’s history under Horacio Cartes. With that, the technocrat gives continuity to the current government trying to give a more modern face to the local conservative politics. His party was in power even during the fiercest dictatorships.
The perpetuation of the party in power is maintained with clientelism and open corruption in the co-option of other parties. There was only a brief interruption between 2008 and 2012, when Fernando Lugo, a left-wing politician, held the Presidency of the neighboring country, the victim of a parliamentary coup when he suffered an impeachment process.
The election had 63% electoral participation during Sunday’s journey. In addition to granting an irreversible difference in the presidential race, colorado voters approved a majority in the Senate, in the Chamber of Deputies and among governors.
The National Republican Association (ANR) will have a majority in the Senate, with at least 23 of the 45 seats; in the Chamber of Deputies, with 47 of the 80 seats; as well as in the provinces, where 15 out of 17 departments were dyed red.