“On April 30, Santiago Peña of the center-right Colorado Party won the Paraguayan elections with 43% of the vote, providing political continuity in a region known for its anti-establishment persuasion. The Colorado Party also achieved notable success in gubernatorial and congressional races—winning 15 out of the 17 gubernatorial races and securing a majority in both chambers of Congress. 

“This is the first time in the last three years that an incumbent party has been reelected in Latin America. When Peña is sworn in on August 15, the Colorado Party will have been in power for 70 years, with the exception of the five years following an electoral win by the Partido Liberal Radical Autentico (PLRA) in 2008. This is also the second time in a row that Paraguay’s president won without receiving the majority of the vote. 

“Key electoral issues included the economy, jobs, security, corruption, and Paraguay’s relationship with Taiwan. Peña, who supports maintaining Paraguay’s diplomatic relations with Taiwan, faced off against Efraín Alegre from the PLRA center-left/right Concertación opposition coalition—who favors a closer relationship with China—and Paraguayo ‘Payo’ Cubas of the National Crusade Party—who ran on an anti-establishment platform. While the last weeks of the elections were a close race between Peña and Alegre, who has now run for the presidency three times, the polls again had it wrong. …”

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