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News > Latin America

Paraguay: Leading Presidential Hopefuls Endorse Catholic Agenda

  • Efrain Alegre (l) during a press conference and Abdo Benitez (r) in a political rally.

    Efrain Alegre (l) during a press conference and Abdo Benitez (r) in a political rally. | Photo: EFE

Published 12 April 2018

A recent poll shows conservative Abdo Benitez up by 24 percentage points. 

A recently published poll for Paraguay's upcoming presidential elections shows Abdo Benitez of the ruling Colorado party is leading the polls with 55.7 percent of voter intention.

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The poll shows Efrain Alegre, of the coalition between the Guasú Front and the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, is behind by 24 points with 31 percent of voter intention.

On April 22 Paraguay will elect its new president, as well as 17 governors, 45 senators, 80 congress representatives, and 18 representatives to the Parlasur, Mercosur’s parlament.   

The presidential frontrunner Benitez said Wednesday during a political rally “I will reject any project to allow abortions and marriage between people of the same sex… God made men and women for procreation within matrimony.”

His runner up has expressed similar views. During a press conference Wednesday Alegre announced he would support the initiatives of ProVida, or ProLife, an organization with links to the Catholic church, which opposes equal marriage and abortion.

Before the press conference Alegre signed a document in which he commits to upholding "traditional families" and life since conception. 

However Alegre clarified that if reelected “we will look for a legal structure to guarantee their (same-sex partners) property rights… because we cannot ignore the reality.” He did not mention policies to decrease the deaths of women due to unsafe abortions.  

There are eight other political parties and social movements in the presidential race, however, according to the same poll they only have a combined 2.9 percent of voting intention.

Endorsement of ProLife’s agenda by the only two viable candidates reveals Paraguay’s dominating conservatism. The poll by Grau and Associates was ran between March 27 and April 8 and surveyed 1,500 potential voters.  

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