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News > Paraguay

UPDATE: Paraguayans Turn Out en Masse to Vote

  • Citizens line up to vote at the Carlos Lopez school in Ñemby, Paraguay, April 30, 2023.

    Citizens line up to vote at the Carlos Lopez school in Ñemby, Paraguay, April 30, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @RadioFyA1300AM

Published 30 April 2023 (11 hours 11 minutes ago)

At least 41,000 Paraguayans living abroad are summoned to vote. Of those, 7,248 Paraguayans reside in Spain.

On Sunday, over 4.7 million Paraguayans will elect president, vice president, 45 senators, 80 lawmakers, 17 governors, and 257 members of departmental boards. Below are the major events as they occur.


Ban on Electoral Propaganda in Force in Paraguay

TWO CITIZENS ARRESTED FOR INCIDENTS IN AN ELECTORAL PRECINT. Police Commander Gilberto Fleitas reported that at least two people were arrested for causing incidents at a polling place.

The detainees are involved in an altercation between representatives of the ruling Colorado Party and the opposition alliance National Concertation, which occurred in the town of Sapucai, 92 km from Asuncion city.

In statements to the press, Paraguayan Attorney General Emiliano Rolon also reported "some skirmishes" in other places. However, he celebrated the massive turnout of citizens at the polling stations and affirmed that the elections are taking place normally.

The tweet reads, "Fight with blows at a polling station in Paraguay. Violent altercation at a polling station in the city of Sapucai, in the Department of Paraguari. After the incident, three people were arrested and another one lost an ear."

EFRAIN ALEGRE DENOUNCES PROBLEMS IN RURAL TOWN: Opposition National Concertation presidential candidate Efrain Algre denounced that armed individuals occupied a school in the town of Yby Pyta, preventing the community from exercising their right to vote.

"Drug traffickers, who are of course supporting the right-wingers, took over the Yby Pyta electoral college," he said after voting in Lambare, a town located about 11 kilometers from the capital city Asuncion.

"There are no conditions for the voting to take place in that town, since citizens are afraid. We hold President Abdo Benitez responsible," Alegre added, demanding the presence of the security forces in Yby Pyta.

The tweet reads, "In Paraguay, the opposition National Concertation candidate Efrain Alegre exercises his right to vote."

RIGHT-WING CANDIDATE PEÑA YEARNS TO WIN WITH A WIDE MARGIN. Colorado Party candidate Santiago Peña arrived at the Saint Anne School in Asuncion city to cast his vote.

"This vote represents a dream and a hope. Paraguay deserves a better country," he said after confessing that he hopes to win with over 50 percent of the vote.

"We have full confidence in the work of the Superior Court of Electoral Justice," the former Finance Minister said, adding that the Colorado Party has over 70,000 people monitoring the elections throughout the country.

PRESIDENT ABDO BENITEZ ASKS CITIZENS TO GO OUT AND VOTE. "The more participation there is, the more legitimate the electoral process and the elected authorities will be," Abdo told reporters shortly after casting his ballot at a school in the city of Asuncion.

Paraguay "is internationally recognized as a country that has been building macroeconomic strength and predictability, a country with a democracy that has been consolidating... Today is further proof of everything that has been built with so much sacrifice," he added.

Abdo hopes that election day "will be a civic festival in which the Paraguayan nation and democracy win" through respect for the institutions in charge of the electoral process. "The people must come out and speak," he emphasized.

THE ELECTORAL PROCESS IN A NUTSHELL: Although 13 pairs are competing for the positions of president and vice president, voting intention polls indicate that only 2 of them have the best chances of winning.

The Colorado Party, which has governed the country for nearly seven decades, supports former Finance Minister Santiago Peña as its presidential candidate.

The National Concertation for a New Paraguay, which brings together most of the opposition forces, has Efrain Alegre as its candidate. He will try for the third time to reach the presidency.

Previously, the Superior Court of Electoral Justice (TSJE) carried out a test of the 15,380 electronic voting machines, installed in the 1,157 electoral centers enabled in 17 departments.

Voting will run from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. local time. The first official results may be known a few hours after the end of electoral day.

Since there is no second round, the winning candidate will assume the presidency on August 15, 2023 and will hold office until August 15, 2028, without the possibility of re-election.

At least 41,000 citizens living abroad are summoned to vote. Of those, 7,248 Paraguayans reside in Spain distributed in cities such as Madrid (2,792), Barcelona (1,825), Malaga (1,415), Bilbao (602), Valencia (289) and Alicante (325).

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