Monday, April 21, 2008

"Moderate" Left wins in Paraguay

Former bishop Fernando Lugo has apparently won the presidency of Paraguay. Lugo ends sixty plus years of the conservative Coloardo Party that sometimes ruled the country like a dictatorship.

Lugo is a bit of a mystery because though he has voice support of Chavez he claims to look towards Brazil's center-left as inspiration and is backed by anti-regime pro-business conservatives. The United States will have to deal carefully with Lugo if it wishes to continue anti-al Qaeda and anti-Hezbollah operations in the infamous tri-border region.

The odd bit of the election is the failures of the ruling Colorado Party. Their candidate, Blanca Ovelar, was hand picked by the president because she had no personal support base and would in effect be another term for the president. She defeated the vice-president in a primary by oddly claiming he was in America's pocket (thus ensuring little United States support for the party). Also, the government supported the release of a very pro-Chavez ex-army officer to divide the Left's vote. Apparently it failed.

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