The Colorado Party of Paraguay consolidates its hegemonic power
The Colorado Party (PC) consolidates its hegemony in Paraguay, after the victory of Santiago Peña in the presidential elections on Sunday and stops the advance of progressive forces in Latin America. A 44-year-old economist, Peña won an undisputed victory, with 42.74% of the vote, once again revealing the polls, which predicted a close result between the Colorado candidate and the opposition Efraín Alegre, from the Authentic Radical Liberal Party. (PLRA), which finally only achieved 27.48% of the votes.
In the same way, the National Republican Association (ANR) – a name also given to the PC – swept the bicameral parliament, so Peña will govern as he pleases. In the Chamber of Deputies, the Colorados won 48 of 80 seats, while in the Senate they won 23 of 43 senators. The ANR increased its majority in each of the chambers by five seats.
Only two legislators
The left is sinking and not even former president Fernando Lugo manages to revalidate his senator seat
Paraguay has not only turned out to be the exception in terms of the growth of progressive forces on the continent, but also the left has been relegated to a symbolic representation. In Parliament, there will only be one leftist deputy and one senator. An example of the progressive debacle is that not even former president Fernando Lugo (2008-2012) was able to revalidate his senator seat.
The main leftist force, the Guasu Front, led by Lugo, did not present its own candidate and mostly supported Alegre. Despite being a liberal party, the PLRA is perceived by Paraguayans as centrist, in contrast to the conservative populism of the PC.
In third place
The violent ex-senator Payo Cubas achieved almost 23% of the votes and confirms the global rise of the extreme right
What Paraguay has not been an exception to is the global rise of the extreme right. The violent far-right ex-senator Payo Cubas achieved almost 23% of the vote. Cubas was third but was close to ousting Alegre in second position.
In fourth place was Euclides Acevedo, former Foreign Minister with the current president Mario Abdo, with a more than anecdotal 1.36% of the vote. Acevedo was supported by a sector of the Guasu Front. Even more anecdotal was the result of the former Real Zaragoza soccer player, the right-wing populist José Luis Chilavert, who barely achieved 0.80% of the vote despite being a very popular figure in Paraguay.
The victory of Peña, former Minister of Finance between 2015 and 2017 and who had previously been a member of the PLRA for two decades, also means that Paraguay will continue to be, a priori, one of the only thirteen countries in the world that diplomatically recognizes Taiwan. Although he never said it openly, Alegre was in favor of "reviewing" relations with China during the campaign, a sign that if he became president he could stop recognizing Taiwan, following in the footsteps of Honduras, which broke relations last March. with the island, thus contenting the Chinese regime.
The great beneficiary of Peña's triumph is his mentor, former president Horacio Cartes (2013-2018), who also chairs the PC. Billionaire banker and tobacco and food entrepreneur, Cartes is the most powerful man in the country, despite being formally accused of corruption by the US Treasury Department.
The PC has governed Paraguay since 1947, including the military regime of the Colorado dictator Alfredo Stroessner, with the sole exception of the five-year period between 2008 and 2013.
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