09 May 2018
Paying for the people’s vote
Elections in Paraguay
Latin Americans love a fiesta, and jubilant members of the Colorado party celebrated their victory in last month’s presidential election outside my house in the small town of Santa María de Fe in their usual style, with fireworks and shouting and dancing and very loud music. Their victory was very narrow. Marito (Mario Abdo Benítez, Colorado) got just 3.72 per cent more than Efraín (Efraín Alegre, Liberal with Alianza Ganar). When suggestions of fraud emerged the day after the result was announced, there was a huge, angry demonstration outside the Tribunal Superior de Justicia Electoral in the capital Asunción, as suspicion grew that such a narrow win might not have been a win at all, if the votes had been properly counted. The ballot papers were thrown away straight after the election.
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