The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, meeting in Montevideo on 17-18 May, in its discussion on the strengthening of the democratic state in the region, made an assessment of the recent general elections in Paraguay which took place in April of this year, together with representatives of its member party in that country, the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and with the presidential candidate of the GANAR coalition, Efraín Alegre, leader of the Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico (PLRA).
The Committee members acknowledged the fact that the Paraguayan electoral process still suffers from a series of weaknesses and procedural gaps, which almost thirty years after the end of the dictatorship should have been overcome and which affect the trust and credibility of the electorate. In particular, the lack of rigour in the speed with which the counting of the votes was done and the partial and selective delivery of the election results, as well as the manipulation of opinion polls in the period prior to the elections, and even during the polling day itself, a fact that was made evident by the large disparity between the early results announced and the results that were subsequently communicated.
With regard to the electoral process itself, it is worth noting the civic spirit and the will of Efraín Alegre and the coalition that supported him, to mobilise the Paraguayan citizens in the search for legitimate and necessary objectives to strengthen and deepen democracy in the country, the political and state institutions, and their disposition and commitment to undertake the necessary reforms to enable Paraguay to achieve an effective democracy based upon solid institutions that work for the benefit of all its citizens.
The Committee recognised and encouraged Efraín Alegre and the members of his coalition present in the meeting, to continue their efforts and their work so that the Paraguayan people may be able to open up new perspectives and new phases in the political life of their country which will be possible within the framework of a full democracy, like the one that he and his colleagues aspire to and will enable Paraguay to enter the XXI century.