The capital of Paraguay, Asuncion, was the scene of protests this Monday. Protesters gathered in the vicinity of the Superior Court of Electoral Justice and at 30 other points in the city to express their dissatisfaction with the results of the elections, which brought to power the right-wing candidate Santiago Peña, from the Colorado party.

There were recorded conflicts with the police with the use of tear gas and rubber bullets. The demonstrators, mostly supporters of the far-right candidate Payo Cubas (National Crusade), allege electoral fraud.

Videos released on social media by Cuba voters show alleged irregularities in the election, a strategy similar to that used by supporters of Jair Bolsonaro (PL) in the 2022 Brazilian elections.

Supporters of a far-right candidate protest this May 1st near the Electoral Court in the capital Asunción, Paraguay / DANIEL DUARTE / AFP

Despite being behind Penã and the center-left candidate Efraín Alegre, from the Authentic Radical Liberal Party (PLRA), Payo had an impressive performance and obtained 23% of the votes. His party elected five parliamentarians in the Senate and in the Chamber of Deputies.

Cubas also requested an audit of the software used in the counting process and the manual recount of votes in the presence of international observers. The requirement was endorsed by Efraín Alegre and Euclides Acevedo (Political Movement of the New Republic).

Efraín said, through his twitter account, that “in view of the numerous complaints presented in relation to yesterday’s elections, we demand that the TSJE [Tribunal Eleitoral] immediately carry out a manual recount of 10% of randomly chosen polling stations in each electoral college in the country.”

The protests were taken over by young people dissatisfied with traditional politics. In the country, politics has been polarized by the parties of Efraín and Peña, both centenarians.

The acronym of the future president has governed Paraguay for almost 70 years and his stay in power was interrupted only once, with the arrival of Fernando Lugo to the Presidency. Lugo was elected in 2009 and was removed from office in a coup in 2012.

According to the Electoral Court, Santiago Peña obtained 42.7% of the votes with 90% of the ballots counted, Alegre 27% and Cubas 23%. According to a schedule released by the institution, the results of the elections in Paraguay will be officially announced on May 24th.

* With information from Telesur.

Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho


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