ASUNCIÓN. – The overwhelming red mechanism prevailed again and renewed for another five years its almost complete dominance over the past seven decades at the hands of the conservatives. Santiago “Santi” Pena. After a climate of uncertainty in the days leading up to the election due to poor polling, relief came quickly when The results were a more comforting than expected feature for the National Republican League (ANR), consecrating the young economist as the next president of Paraguay.
With 99% of the tables checked, the result is irreversible. In a country where elections are decided in the first and only round, Peña will rise to the top of power with a comfortable majority of 42.7%.While the leader of the National Party, Efraín Alegre, was left behind with 27.4%. The surprise came from Paraguay’s Cubas, the controversial leader of the Third Power, who got 22.9% of the vote.
Coloradismo’s solid results are a sign that neither accusations of corruption nor internal divisions can: A huge electoral system supported by 2.5 million members. In this way, with its renewed commitment to the ruling party, the South American country remains an exception in a region where rotation is a trend.
When victory was already certain, Peña stepped onto the stage at the Republican National Assembly (ANR) headquarters with the Paraguayan flag hanging from his neck amidst a din of applause and cheers of thanks to “the people of Paraguay, the people of Colorado”. .
“They gave us their dreams and pinned their hopes in our hands so that tomorrow we can be better. We’ll be better!” said Peña, who was surrounded by his close relatives and advisors, his running mate! Peter Aliana, for the party chief, Horace Cartesand even Arnoldo Wiens, whom he defeated in December training.
The great absentee? outgoing president Mario Abdo Benitez. Although he almost congratulated the new boss. “Congratulations to the people of Paraguay for their great participation on this election day and to President-elect Santiago Peña. We will work to begin an orderly and transparent transition that strengthens our institutions and the country’s democracy.”
Soon the Brazilian presidents joined in the congratulations, Luiz Inacio da Silvaand from uruguay, Louis Lacalle Poe.
“We are very happy and, above all, proud. Santi is a prepared, honest boy with a great desire to do things for his country. He started at a very young age and has reached it thanks to his willingness and perseverance.” Nation Peña’s mother is Argentine Ana Maria Palacios.
Outside the ANR headquarters, hundreds of people waited with music, drums and flags. “We are happy, we are not happy”said a supporter, in a provocative reference to candidate Efrain Alegre, who has not yet acknowledged Peña’s victory but has announced that he will go to the country as soon as possible.
In addition to the president and vice president, Paraguayan voters elected 45 current senators and 30 deputies by electronic vote; 80 honorary deputies and 80 alternates; 17 governors, 257 honorary members, and 257 alternate board members.
in the Senate, which was first introduced for preferential voting, The result is also in favor of Colorados, who received 44.06% of the vote with 91.92% of the vote.
After a tense election day marked by cross accusations and an overwhelming flow of voters who ended up in some stations punching, shoving and screaming after hours of waiting under the blazing sun, the election closed at 4:00 p.m. (5:00 p.m. in Argentina) as scheduled. The TREP recount began shortly after and the first results arrived quickly, dispelling the fears of the past few days.
There has been much speculation about the ruling party’s performance, mainly due to the financial and moral impact of the party Corruption accusations and US economic sanctions against powerful businessman and former President of Paraguay Horacio Cartes.Today, President and Patron of ANR.
Peña will succeed outgoing President Mario Abdou Benitez from August 15 for a five-year term, who has shown his disdain for Dolphin de Cartes on several occasions. His gestures, however, such as praising Paraguay’s candidate Cubas a day before the election or his absence from events in Colorado, had little effect on loyal voters indifferent to internal conflicts.
The Colorado Paraguayan party has ruled for most of the past seven decades, under dictatorship and democracy, with one interruption during the government of leftist Fernando Lugo (2008-2012), who was ousted in impeachment a year before the end of his term. .
Despite the joy of the night on the streets of Asunción, great challenges await Peña: Long-standing debts with the health, education and transportation systems. as well as a Tough fight against organized crime and endemic corruption.