Paraguay: Everything you need to know about the upcoming elections

On April 22, the South American nation will decide which side of the regional policy it wants to be

Paraguay: Everything you need to know about the upcoming elections

Next Sunday, April 22, the Paraguayans will go to the polls to choose, among other positions, who their future president and vice president will be for a term of 5 years. The general elections will also take place on Sunday, and not only the presidential formula will be elected, but also 45 senators and 30 alternates, 80 deputies and their respective alternates, 17 governors, 17 departmental juntas and the 18 members of Parlasur with their respective substitutes.

Leer en español: Paraguay: Todo lo que tiene que saber de las próximas elecciones

There are about 4,250,000 people qualified to vote throughout the country and a little over 38,100 voters abroad, especially in Argentina, Brazil, the United States, and Spain, according to the Electoral Registry data. The Superior Court of Electoral Justice (TSJE) declared that there are 760 lists that will participate in these elections.

The presidential race is disputed among the candidates who will be present at the debate that would take place on Sunday, April 15. They are: Mario Abdo Benítez of the ruling party (Partido Colorado) and Efraín Alegre of the opposition (Alianza Ganar).

The surveys show dissimilar results. The digital newspaper ABC Color published the result of its survey, in which the official Benítez leads by 30 percentage points, a difference of 53.4% ​​to 22.2%. While the digital newspaper, The Republic of Uruguay, published its poll with a different result, the Alegre opponent would get the presidency with 46.3% while the ruling party would be around 42.2%. If this last result happens, the Colorado Party could again leave power, which kept the government for more than 60 years until falling at the feet of Fernando Lugo in 2008.

Who is Efraín Alegre?

Alegre is a candidate of the Alianza Ganar, which is the fusion between the Liberal Party and the left Guasu Front, of which former President Lugo is a member, who places Leonardo Rubin as a candidate for vice president. In his proposals, he focuses on transforming the public sector and making it closer to citizenship stand out.

On electric power issues, Alegre proposes a multi-party commission to negotiate with Brazil. In addition, the candidate intends to nullify the 'Macri-Cartes' agreement, signed in 2017 as being contrary to the national interests of energy sovereignty. On social issues, Alegre proposes free health for all and streamlines bureaucratic procedures on pension and poverty issues.

As for his cabinet, Alegre proposes parity between men and women, in addition to an electoral reform that eliminates the lists sheets and a restructuring of the security forces on issues such as organized crime.

Efraín Alegre is a lawyer, with a master's degree in Political Science and a postgraduate degree in Community Law, specializing in Public Management in Spain and in Senior Management in Argentina. In 1998, Alegre was elected national deputy as president of the Chamber from 2000 to 2003. In 2008, he became a senator to finally preside over the Ministry of Public Works and Communications of the Lugo administration that same year. Alegre was the candidate to succeed Lugo, but he lost the election against Cartes.

Who is Mario Abdo Benítez?

The official candidate Benítez counts as a running mate with Hugo Velázquez. Among his proposals, there is the idea of ​​debating the need for young people to have the obligation to participate in public services or in the barracks to learn discipline and patriotism. Benítez proposes the reform of the Judicial Power as a "historical necessity", in addition to integrating the public health system.

Benítez was the president of the Senate between 2015 and 2016, he studied marketing in the United States and achieved the title of Second Lieutenant of Aviation Reserve and Military Paratrooper. The candidate is criticized for being close to the military dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner. His father, Mario Abdo, was the private secretary of the dictator, as well as a distant kinship according to his statements to the newspaper ABC Color.

What will happen at the regional level?

Paraguay will decide this year which side of the regional policy it wants to be. It will be defined if it will return to the progressive character of the region or if it will continue with that so-called 'turn to the right'. The connection of Benítez with the dictatorship and his defense to the military service catalog him in the right of the spectrum of the policy. Alegre, on the other hand, seems to be on the opposite side of the spectrum, for his intention of maximizing gender equality, the defense of energy sovereignty, and having been an official in the Lugo administration.

 

Latin American Post |
Translated from “Paraguay: Todo lo que tiene que saber de las próximas elecciones”

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