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Paraguay - Election 2018

On 31 March 2017 the Senate secretly voted to amend the constitution, which had not allowed re-election since it was created in 1992 following the fall of the brutal dictatorship. The bill would then move to the house, and if it passed, Cartes would have been eligible for re-election in 2018 when his current five- year term ended. Former president Fernando Lugo, who was ousted in 2012 for his handling of a land eviction in which 17 people were killed, would also be allowed to run again. A number of South American countries, including Paraguay, Peru, and Chile, have laws against presidents running for consecutive terms in a region not long removed from military dictatorships.

Rioters set fire to parliament to protest the bill that would allow the country's president to serve more than one term. Demonstrators broke windows and set fire to the interior of the parliament building. Paraguay's President Horacio Cartes said 16 April 2017 he would not run for a second term in 2018, after signs that he would try to hang onto power sparked deadly riots. Cartes made his intentions known in a letter to the Archbishop of Asuncion, saying he always puts Paraguay first.

Paraguayans headed to the ballot box 17 December 2017 to select their parties' presidential candidate for the general elections on 22 April 2018. Leading the pack, according to Americas Quarterly, were the two candidates vying for the top spot in the ruling, right-wing National Republican Association, or Colorado Party. Santiago Pena is a former International Monetary Fund (IMF) employee and finance minister. His opponent, Mario Abdo, is a senator who's the son of a private secretary to former dictator General Alfredo Stroessner. Little separate the two in policy terms.

The opposition alliance between the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, PLRA, and the leftist Guasu Front has remained weakened. the Guasu Front announced last year that Lugo will run for president. "The Guasu Front entered in the political arena to stay, we did not come to do a fashion show or exhibitionism in Paraguayan politics, we came to stay and transform our history," said Lugo.

Paraguay's presidential election takes place on April 22, 2018. Vying for the top spot is the ruling, right-wing National Republican Association, or Colorado Party. Santiago Pea, a former International Monetary Fund, IMF, employee and finance minister. His opponent, Mario Abdo, is a senator, the son of a private secretary to former dictator General Alfredo Stroessner.

Little, if any, separate the two in policy terms. Both candidates seek to spur the economy through foreign investment and austerity measures, expressing hazy commitments concerning issues related to healthcare and education. Since the expeditious impeachment of former Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo in 2012, the opposition alliance between the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, PLRA, and the leftist Guasu Front has remained weakened.

"The Guasu Front entered in the political arena to stay, we did not come to do a fashion show or exhibitionism in Paraguayan politics, we came to stay and transform our history, Lugo said. However, political commentator Estela Ruiz Diaz said that none of the PLRA candidates standing for the presidency incite passion, adding that they still have to settle their own feuds.

Not counting the four-year hiatus under Lugo, the past seven decades of Colorado Party politics attest to the absence of progressive leadership in the landlocked country.





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