Paraguay elects Peña as president, keeping conservatives in power

Asunción, Apr 30 (EFE).- Santiago Peña won Paraguay’s presidential elections on Sunday, with his conservative ruling party also winning a majority in the Senate and at least 15 of the 17 disputed governorates, according to the official provisional count.

Peña became the country’s president elect with 42.9 percent of the votes over center-left Concertacion coalition rival Efraín Alegre, with 27.5 percent, according to the provisional results of the Superior Court of Electoral Justice (TSJE).

“I call for unity and consensus to achieve our destiny of collective well-being and prosperity without exclusions,” said an emotional 44-year-old Peña in a speech to supporters in Asunción. “The time has come to postpone our differences, to prioritize the common causes that unite us as a nation.”

“From tomorrow we will begin to design the Paraguay that we all want without gross inequalities or unfair social asymmetries,” added the economist.

He anticipated that the tasks ahead are “not for a single person or just for a party,” after “the last few years of economic stagnation, fiscal deficit, with a worrying unemployment rate and the increase in extreme poverty.”

Peña will take over from President Mario Abdo Benítez, also from the Colorado Party.

With Peña’s triumph, the ruling party will consolidate its hegemony in power, after seven decades.

After conceding a heavy defeat, Alegre said “we are not going to give up… the fight continues.”

“Obviously there is great hope for change in Paraguay that is expressed in the vote and calls for a project that manages to unite all efforts,” he said.

The opposition candidate, for whom some polls had predicted a victory over Peña, thanked voters, including those who opted for continuity.

“That is democracy,” he concluded.

Alegre had argued for switching diplomatic allegiance to China, so concern for the country cutting ties with Taiwan were allayed significantly with the result.

“We congratulate the Paraguayan people for their civic maturity and democratic conviction,” said TSJE President Jorge Bogarín in his address.

The vote, in which almost 4.8 million citizens out of a population of 7.5 million were eligible to also elect senators, deputies, governors and councilors, also revealed that the Colorado Party obtained a majority of 43.75 percent in the Upper House.

Coloradism also won easily in the election of governors, by conquering 15 of the 17 departments up for grabs. EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button