Horacio Cartes, presumed winner of the Paraguayan presidential elections. Maybe we should put “presidential elections” in quotation marks, since what happened there isn’t to be confused with any semblance of real democracy. And because it’s actually a distinct case of “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”:
The Paraguayan Tribunal of Electoral Justice (TSJE) informed on Sunday that the right-wing candidate from the Colorado party, Horacio Cartes, had won the presidential elections to succeed Federico Franco, who came to power through a coup d’état against elected president Fernando Lugo.
The electoral organ informed that the right-wing candidate had obtained 45.87% of the vote, while Efraín Alegre of the Liberal Party took 36.9%. Alegre conceded defeat minutes before the announcement.
Cartes brings back the Colorado Party, which left the presidential palace in 2008 after 60 years in power, and which lost that year to the leftist candidate of the Frente Guasú, Fernando Lugo.
In June of 2012, Paraguay entered a political crisis after its congress decided to remove Lugo from office, following violent incidents during a removal of peasants from the southwestern region of Curuguaty. The decision, which placed Federico Franco in power, was termed an “institutional coup d’état”.
Until now, the Paraguayan government has not been recognized in regional blocs such as UNASUR and MERCOSUR, which is why one of the challenges facing Cartes will be to return his country to institutionality and acceptance in Latin America.
Yeah, Paraguay, good luck with that. You’re in no better democratic shape than Honduras, which is also only a sham democracy at best following the 2009 coup against Manuel Zelaya. Your last legitimately elected president was this guy:
“My government will be socialist, and will defeat poverty in every house.”
And, by strange coincidence, he’s also Paraguay’s first legitimately elected president, too. No doubt with sentiments like that, he was very popular, and that’s why Lugo had to go. Because what he replaced is, essentially, this guy:
…whose party ruled Paraguay as a single-party dictatorship for over 60 years. And whose party is now back in power through the sham election of Cartes. This is the old boss. Same as the new boss!
As for Lugo, he was never a boss; he was a president. The only real one Paraguay has had in living memory, and by the looks of things, the only real one they ever will have.
Lo siento mucho, Paraguay. You’re a fascist dictatorship as of June of last year, and, elections or no elections, a fascist dictatorship you will remain, unless Lugo — or somebody — does something about that.