The Socialist International met in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, on 12 and 13 December in advance of presidential elections next year, when its Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean convened to lend its support to the efforts led by the coalition of democratic and progressive forces, the Patriotic Alliance for Change.
The meeting was opened by the Alliance’s presidential candidate, Fernando Lugo, who shared with the participants the coalition’s programme to bring about progressive change in the country, so ending 60 years of single party domination. During the opening session, other speakers included the Secretary General of the Socialist International, Luis Ayala, and the Chair of the Committee, Rolando Araya.
Giving an assessment of developments in the country, Paraguayan political leaders took the floor, among them Nils Candia of the Revolutionary Febrerista Party, PRF, and Carlos Filizzola of the ‘País Solidario’ Party, the SI member parties in the country, as well as Federico Franco, Authentic Radical Liberal Party, PLRA; Rafael Filizzola, Progressive Democratic Party, PDP; Gerardo Rolón Pose, Christian Democratic Party, PDC; Emilio Camacho, National Assembly Party, PEN; Víctor Bareiro, ‘Frente Amplio’ Party, PFA; Camilo Soares, Movement for Socialism Party, P-MAS, along with representatives of other forces involved in the coalition. The speakers outlined the process in the country which had led to the drawing up of a common progressive political platform, offering an alternative with Fernando Lugo as the Alliance’s candidate for the presidency, and analysed the main tasks ahead of the coalition to win the forthcoming elections.
In the following sessions, delegates exchanged views and shared their own national experiences on the importance of strengthening political institutions, culture and democratic practice in order to ensure progressive political agendas in the region. Participants underlined the need to overcome the social deficit through developing strategies which promote inclusion, equality and social protection, so guaranteeing better and fairer living conditions for all. Reflecting the outcome of the discussions, the Declaration of Asunción was adopted.
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