Efrain Alegre, the presidential candidate of the opposition coalition GANAR, claimed there is “very clear evidence of fraud” in the counting process that handed conservative Mario Abdo Benitez, of the ruling Colorado Party, a victory in the presidential elections.
“We're intensively working in this control duty and we already have, of course, we do, we have very clear evidence of fraud that we will showcase by case,” Alegre, president of the biggest opposition party, said in a video Tuesday.
Alegre lost the elections by 3.7 percent to Abdo Benitez, according to the Preliminary Electoral Results Transmission (TREP), operated by the Electoral Justice.
In his announcement, Alegre claimed that his coalition got most of the votes in the Asuncion polling station, while the TREP registered none of them in their favor.
He also said the group carrying out the process went through a “series of pre-electoral frauds,” and that some of the published polls were giving Abdo Benitez too wide an advantage ahead of the elections.
But, as its name says, the TREP's results are only preliminary, and candidates still need to wait for the final results. “Our position at the moment is working on the control of the tally sheets. We said on Sunday, the TREP is a preliminary result... we will check vote by vote, sheet by sheet, and we will inform people,” said Alegre.
He also said he will hold a meeting Tuesday to evaluate the situation of the GANAR alliance, among which there is the Guasu Front, led by former President Fernando Lugo, and the Authentic Radical Liberal Party, led by Alegre himself.
Abdo, a 46-year-old former senator who campaigned on an anti-corruption platform and is set to be sworn in as president in mid-August, beat his main rival Efrain Alegre, a lawyer from the center-left GANAR coalition. But his margin of victory was much smaller than had been projected in polls.
Outgoing President Horacio Cartes had vetoed the proposed soybean export tax, and Abdo is also against the measure, which the business community feared would slow growth of the country's soy sector. Abdo is expected to keep most of Cartes' policies unchanged.