The Partido Colorado puts at stake its historical continuity at the head of the Executive Branch before Concertación Nacional

This Sunday, April 30, Paraguayan citizens will go to the polls to elect president and vice-president for the next five years. Legislators will also be elected to renew the entire Congress. Without the possibility of a second round, the most voted will take office.

The ruling party Partido Colorado leads the average of polls surveyed, but is followed by Concertación, an opposition alliance of 14 parties, with a difference of about ten points. In third place the figure of Paraguayo Cubas, self-described as an “anti-system” candidate, has been rising. In addition, the ruling party is weakened by accusations against important figures, such as Vice President Hugo Velazquez and the current leader of the party, Horacio Cartes, and by the unpopularity of current president Mario Abdo, who is approaching the end of his term with a 65% negative image.

Executive Elections

Even with 13 presidential candidates, the formulas of the Partido Colorado, led by Santiago Peña, and Concertación, with Efraín Alegre at the head, accumulate more than 65% of the voting intention. The triumph of the first option would mean a historical continuity, since the Partido Colorado has lost only one election since the return of democracy in 1989. The divisions within the Partido Colorado and the number of parties that make up the main opposition alliance could anticipate a series of complex negotiations for the organization of the Executive. Likewise, the electoral performance of Paraguayo Cubas’ party would put a relevant interlocutor on the political scenario of Paraguayan politics.


According to an average of polls conducted by local consulting firms, the Partido Colorado leads the voting intention with 38.25%, followed by Concertación, which accumulates 28.02%. Although the polls give the Partido Colorado a 10-point lead, the gap could narrow, since 8.15% of those polled answered that they would vote blank or that they had not yet defined their vote. The growth of the “anti-system” alternative would leave the Partido Cruzada Nacional in third place. With elections that cannot be defined in a runoff, the percentage of votes obtained by the winner will determine the effort to be made to build legitimacy at the beginning of a new government. 

Who are the favorites?

He is an economist from Universidad Católica Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. He served as Minister of Finance during the presidency of Horacio Cartes between 2015 and 2017, and as a member of the board of the Central Bank between 2012 and 2015. His closeness with Cartes hindered his candidacy, after Vice President Velázquez resigned from the presidential candidacy following accusations of corruption. 

Among his proposals, the following stand out: an increase to the “Tekopora” subsidy, for the acquisition of basic products; the implementation of new technologies for greater agricultural productivity; and the incentive to sustainable production.

He is a lawyer by the Universidad Católica Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. Elected deputy for the Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico in 2008; he was candidate for president for the same space in 2013 and 2018. He served as Minister of Public Works during the administration of Fernando Lugo, a position that brought him numerous accusations of corruption.

Among his proposals, the following stand out: the reduction of energy costs for the industrial sector, the creation of a program to deliver essential medicines free of charge, and the improvement of connectivity and internet access.

Legislative Elections

The entire Congress, which is bicameral and composed of 80 deputies and 45 senators, will be renewed. Even with an eventual triumph of the current ruling party, projections indicate a greater fragmentation in the new Congress, with no majorities of its own for any party. If the difference in votes between first and second place remains narrow, the new Executive will have to negotiate agreements between its political space and the other parties with parliamentary representation.


These elections happen in a context in which citizens are tired of corruption, and that expect the elected government to address this and other urgent issues, such as access to health careinsecurity and the fight against drug trafficking. The race is likely to be framed between the Partido Colorado, led by Santiago Peña, and the Concertación, led by Efraín Alegre. Although both parties have statistical possibilities of winning, Peña leads the polls with 38.25% of the vote intention. Given the possibility of a narrow victory, the post-electoral scenario presents challenges for the construction of legitimacy, and a Congress possibly more fragmented than the current one.

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