A man casts his vote during national elections in Asuncion A man casts his vote during national elections in Asuncion  (AFP or licensors)

The people of Paraguay vote for President

The Electorate of Paraguay goes to the polls to choose a new President. The economy, corruption and diplomatic relations shape the vote.

By James Blears

This is the eighth Presidential Election in Paraguay since the 1989 Coup, ended the thirty-five years dictatorship of Alfredo Strossner.

The outgoing President and Vice President, who are not eligible for re-election, are members of the Colorado Party, which has ruled Paraguay almost uninterrupted since 1947. Its Presidential Candidate is Santiago Pena. While Efrain Alegre leads the Liberal Party and is the Candidate of the Pact for a New Paraguay Coalition.

Both are promising not to raise taxes, to try to tackle corruption and ease poverty, which bites deep into a sluggish economy. Deficiencies in the health system were exacerbated during the Covid crisis. Where they differ, is over relations with Taiwan. Alegre says he would switch alliances to China, arguing that Paraguay is losing many lucrative opportunities. 

There is no second-round runoff in Paraguay`s Presidential Election. So, whoever gains the most votes will win outright. There are also simultaneous Congressional Elections.

Paraguay is a landlocked country. The issue today, is whether it will continue secured and anchored into one political system... or opt for change. 

Listen to the report by James Blears

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30 April 2023, 15:45