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Paraguay

Yearbook 2018

Paraguay. According to Countryaah.com, the April 22 presidential election was won by Mario "Marito" Abdo Benítez of the ANR-PC (National Republican Organization-Colorado Party) government party, thus retaining government power for another term. However, the victory margin of the opponent, Efraín Alegre of the opposition alliance Ganar, was less than expected, only 3 percentage points in contrast to the opinion polls that gave him a 20 percentage point lead. At the same time, the results of the election to Congress showed a more divided picture than before. Although the ANRPC continued as the largest party in the House of Representatives but with a reduced majority, and in the Senate the opposition gained a majority. All in all, the elections pointed to a weakened position for ANR-PC.

2018 Paraguay

At the same time, however, governor elections were held where things went much better for the party. ANR-PC won the governor posts in 13 of 17 provinces. Among them were the popular Departamento Central traditionally dominated by the opposition party PLRA (The True Liberal Radical Party).

In the aftermath of the election, the crack in the government party deepened. The newly elected President Abdo Benítez criticized his party mate and representative Horacio Cartes, and Senator Javier Zacarías Irún, an influential party member and close ally with Cartes, was accused of embezzlement, corruption and tax evasion. A worse burden for the president was leaked and published telephone conversations between the electoral court and political leaders who diluted the rumors of electoral fraud in ANR-PC's favor.

In January, the remains of what was believed to be one of the leaders of the Christian minority Mennonite in northern Paraguay were found. He had been taken hostage by the guerrilla group EPP (Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo), and the discovery led to an intensified debate about the security situation in the country. Despite the promises of outgoing President Cartes to defeat the EPP, violence and kidnappings have escalated.

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