- Paraguay elects new president without change expectations
- Mario Abdo Benítez, a candidate with rank Stronista
The Colorado party, master and Lord of Paraguayan politics for last 70 years, has suffered more than I expected. His candidate, Mario Abdo Benítez, waited for hours for end of counting of votes, seeing as his opponent, Liberal Ephraim Alegre, he approached him tenth to tenth, until being less than four points away. The count was a nightmare for hundreds of Colorados who approached party headquarters in center of Asunción. They came to believe that y would get more than 20 points of advantage, as predicted by surveys. With 50% Escrutrado and more than 10 points above cheerful, y celebrated. But soon euphoria was worry and Colorados had to wait until end. The account ended in favor of Abdo, with 46.46% of votes, against 42.73% of Alegre, equivalent to 94,000 votes. The Colorado win by 3.73 points Advantage was tightest since 1993.
Alegre, leader of traditional Radical Liberal Party (PLRA), was close to reaching miracle. He had his star in reissue of alliance with Fernando Lugo, same as in 2008 converted former bishop in first not Colorado to win an election in seven decades. It was close, but drag of votes of left Alliance leading Lugo, Frente Guazú, was not enough. For Colorados, despite final result, victory was savored as a defeat. The difference of less than four points will have immediate political effects. "It points to fundamental need for a political dialogue in pursuit of governability, but even when we have very urgent desafiíos, such as reducing poverty, raising quality of social spending and strengning institutions," says Politologist José María Costa in a Quick analysis of new scenario.
The Colorados suffered, in part from internal divisions, which prevented campaign from finding m solid after candidate. But y finally celebrated. The supreme Tribiunal of Electoral Justice stopped count at 96%, when he felt that difference was already irreversible in favor of ABDO. "We have a marked difference in favor of one of candidates and segín our studies is irreversible. Mario Abdo Benítez is new president of Paraguay, "he said solemnly head of Tribunal, Jaime Bertar. The Colorados n burst into cries of euphoria, fed for hours of waiting and fear of losing everything.
The party was immediate. In front of stage mounted in Calle Los Colorados celebrated. "Sit down, sit down, marite president," y shouted among thunder bombs. It was time to receive Marito, who was already in party headquarters early, following count from an office in company of his advisors. "We had a complicated path because we faced a legitimate alliance of all united against Colorados. We have built a decent project and people voted for unity and not for division of Paraguay. I will be a factor of unity, "Abdo promised in his speech.Mario Abdo shows his finger inked, proof that he has voted. Stronista Blood
The Paraguayans chose Colorado's successor Horacio Cartes, a powerful tobacco businessman. And y did it by a thoroughbred, son of private Secretary Ofalfredo Stroessner (1954-1989). Abdo, aged 46, was 16 when dictator died, and pleads for "good things of that time" but contrary to state terrorism. Today he acted as a winner since start of day.
At 6:00 in morning, he received press at his house on outskirts of Asunción. Under a huge tent, he toured park of his residence with a mate in his hand, national beverage of Paraguayans, and promised a government based on dialogue and reconciliation. He n voted in a nearby school between harassment of press and closed morning with a visit to tomb of his far, located next to vault of family Stroessner in Recoleta Cemetery of capital. All in time, fast, synchronized, evidence that Colorado party when it is proposed is an oiled and efficient electoral machine.
Cheerful, meanwhile, he voted early and toured schools in Asunción. He also spoke to reporters, but remained within common places. "Today is big day, today we are going to make history, today will win Paraguay," he said at a press conference at his campaign post. Something beyond was his ally Lugo, who in afternoon, without official results, criticized triumphalist spirit of Colorados. "The previous time y made same libretto, at 17 HS y gave victory and n won alliance," he said, reminiscing that political agreement with Liberals. The Exbishop asked to trust young vote, "that will renew our democracy." The result was close to giving him reason.The young vote Liberal Ephraim gladly votes in Asunción. Efe
Some 100,000 young people voted for first time in Paraguay, a figure that is not enough to turn a choice, but relevant if it is to update relationship of traditional parties with society. Matías is 19 years old and has released his vote at República de Chile school, just outside Asunción. He chose Alegre, because "something has to change." "I don't like amount of poverty that exists, bad distribution, I hope with a bit of leftism change," he says.
Alejandro, a 21-year-old economics student, opted for a third option, Juan Ybañez, a red-lighted excaudillo who was now independent by Green Party. "The traditional parties in Paraguay have already spent as much as y could and I will vote for someone outside of politics. I know you're going to lose, but you have to break up with bipartisanship, "he explains. Alexander's hopes were not fulfilled, because bipartisanship is in good health in Paraguay, if you look at results: between Colorados and liberals took more than 90% of votes.
The journey was, however, a day celebrated by Paraguayans. Today was seventh consecutive election made by Sudamericnao country since return to democracy. And despite political rivalries, it was also most peaceful. Paraguay has an old tradition of violent succession, most of time of palace. The end of Lugo was a good example, with peasant revolts that left 17 dead and a parliamentary destitution in record time. A year ago, partisans opposed attempts to re-elect Cartesincendiaron part of Congress. Today, schools were full of voters, without incident, in a city that showed an air of SundayMarito in cemetery Mario Abdo comes out with his family from mausoleum where his far lies. Santi Nerito
Mario "Marito" Abdo Benítez arrived with his wife and children to cemetery of Recoleta of Asunción just after voting. They walked down aisle full of graves, accompanied by a cloud of cameras and flashes. Dressed in white and without speaking, family entered sumptuous marble and granite panon built by his far, Mario Abdo, private secretary of dictator Alfredo Stroessner for more than 30 years. It was 8:00 in morning.
Four bodyguards took care of door while family honored one of strongest men of South America's longest dictatorship: 35 years, between 1954-1989.
Inside, in light of two candles, family remained surrounded by seven coffins preserved in mausoleum. that of Mario Abdo far, member of so-called "Cuatrinomio de Oro" of dictatorship, four most powerful men of regime after Stroessner, was today covered by a red flag and a Paraguayan flag.
Outside, among local media cameras, I was expecting an entourage of collaborators very close to Marito speaking in Guarani, dressed in ties and colored T-shirts.
The panon of family Abdo Benítez is next to one who had to house remains of Stroessner and his family. But unforeseen exile of dictator, when he was ousted by a military coup in 1989, failed his plans to lie in one of most stately districts of Asunción. Now, Panon, which has three underground plants, is abandoned. What also thwarted plans of Mario Abdo's far to stand beside dictator.
The ceremony of young Abdo lasted only two minutes. Then, quietly, he went out with his family from graveyard.