Presidential Elections in Paraguay: Everything you Need to Know

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The presidential elections of Paraguay are approaching, and we will tell you who the candidates are and what their main proposals are.

Santiago Pena, Efrain Alegre

Photos: IG-santipenapy, IG-efrainalegre

LatinAmerican Post | July Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: Elecciones presidenciales en Paraguay: todo lo que necesitas saber

On April 30, the Paraguayans will elect their new president amid various accusations against Horacio Cartes, president of the Colorado-ARN Party, which is the current government party tainted by allegations of corruption and lack of gender parity. Despite this, the ANR, which has ruled the Latin American country for over 70 years, has one of the two favorite candidates in the 2023 presidential election.

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On the same day, 17 governors, 45 senators, and 80 deputies will also be elected. Paraguay has no run-off, so whoever gets the most votes will win the presidency. Next, we review the two most advanced candidates and their most important proposals.

Santiago Peña

Santiago Peña is an economist and the formula of the current ruling party, the Colorado-ANR Party, which is conservative. Peña, 44, served as Minister of Finance during part of the presidential term of Horacio Cartes, specifically from 2015 to 2017. His campaign focuses on proposals to combat insecurity, the generation of more than 500,000 jobs, and the defense of family values. He also promised an improvement in the country's economy from "low prices and money in the pocket of citizens." On the other hand, he talks about progress at the infrastructure level, but less than a month before the elections, he has not defined what type of infrastructure he is referring to.

Although Peña has a lot of advantages for belonging to the Colorado Party, the sanctions against Cartes for corruption have also weighed on him, which is why he had to focus his efforts on running a rather internalist campaign, which is why he has not reached power to sectors that are not coloradistas.

Efraín Alegre

Alegre, 60 years old, is the primary opposition candidate for the ARN and is the representative of the Concertación para un Nuevo Paraguay party, which is an alliance between 14 opposition parties and organizations. Alegre's main banner is to end the political monopoly in the Colorado Party's hands. Likewise, his campaign promised connectivity for the entire country based on agreements with Internet providers to subsidize 50% of the fixed cost.

Alegre points to a better administration of economic resources in the public sector. On the other hand, he spoke of dealing with the fiscal deficit of GDP, which was 3%. To reduce it, he proposes cutting public sector spending, not increasing taxes on the country's farmers. This proposal favors him because it puts him on the side of the civil sector, which is against raising taxes.

In addition, Alegre's vice-presidential formula is Soledad Núñez, with which she points to a center-right sector, which is why, unlike Peña, she managed to capture the attention of political industries that are not necessarily in favor of the opposition.

In the latest poll published by Atlas, 38% of the population would vote for Alegre, while 36% would vote for Peña. Likewise, 54% of the population assures that they prefer a president of the Concertación, while 35.8% go for a president of the Colorado Party. In third place in the polls is the Paraguayan right-wing populist "Payo" Cubas with 14%, who obtained it thanks to an incendiary speech.

So far, Alegre has a chance to win the presidency and defeat the Colorado Party, but we will have to wait until April 30 to find out what the future of Paraguayans is.

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