Asuncion, 30 apr. The comfortable victory this Sunday of Santiago Peña, candidate of the Colorado Party for the Presidency of Paraguay, consolidates this political formation born in 1887 and which declares itself nationalist, republican and conservative, as the hegemonic force in a country that has governed for 71 years .
The National Republican Association (ANR), the official name of Coloradism, is the second longest-ruling party in Latin America, surpassed only by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which has ruled Mexico for 77 years.
After his electoral triumph, Peña, a 44-year-old economist, began his speech on Sunday night by thanking the party’s president, Horacio Cartes, the wealthy businessman who presided over Paraguay between 2013 and 2018 and who continues to manage the springs of the power, as demonstrated by the triumph of his political dauphin.
Despite the fact that the United States sanctioned him for corruption on January 27, a month earlier Cartes had managed to take over the presidency of the party, and managed to win his candidate in the primary elections. Tonight, in addition, he reaped an overwhelming triumph for both.
The impossibility of the presidents being re-elected and the fact that in the presidential elections there is no possibility of a second round -something that in Latin America happens only in Paraguay and Venezuela- means that in each appointment with the polls the options of the ruling party they revalidate
“The official victory in Paraguay has broken the trend of voting to punish the ruling parties that had been in force in the region since 2019,” Argentine political scientist and jurist Daniel Zovatto told EFE, who has followed the Paraguayan elections on the ground during the last week.
The resounding victory of Santiago Peña over the opposition Efraín Alegre, together with the important support obtained both in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate, and the victory in fifteen of the seventeen governorships paint a comfortable scenario for a party accustomed to exercising power. with hardly any opposition, except that of its own ranks, in an exercise that some analysts describe as political gattopardism.
This has been the case of the current ruler, Mario Abdo Benítez, facing his predecessor in the presidency, and who prevailed five years ago in the internal elections against Santiago Peña, supported precisely by Horacio Cartes.
This intricate political construction explains why tonight Peña directed his darts at the management of the current president, despite being a co-religionist of his own party.
Mario Abdo Benítez himself, the son of the person who was the private secretary of the dictator Alfredo Stroessner (1954-1989), decided not to go to the electoral headquarters of the Colorados and limited himself to congratulating his successor as head of state through a laconic message on social networks.
“Congratulations to the Paraguayan people for their great participation in this election day and to the president-elect @SantiPenap. We will work to start an orderly and transparent transition that strengthens our institutions and the country’s democracy, ”he wrote on his Twitter account.
The task that the future government must face, Peña proclaimed, “is 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”.
And although for 71 of the last 75 years the country has been governed by the Colorado Party, he proclaimed: “from tomorrow we will begin to design the Paraguay that we all want, without gross inequalities or unfair social asymmetries.” EFE
(Photo / Video)