Protests in Paraguay amid calls for recount

The Organization of American States (OAS) says there is no reason to doubt the election results

The Organization of American States (OAS) said today that its electoral observation mission saw no reason to put into doubt Paraguay’s election results. The comments come after protests by supporters of right-wing candidate Paraguayo Antonio Cubas, who came in third.

There were clashes between police and Cubas supporters last night amid complaints of fraud — he had called for a recount on Instagram and called for them to protest.

President-elect Santiago Peña won 43% of the vote on Sunday compared with 27% for runner-up Efrain Alegre. In an election widely considered to be between Peña and Alegre, Cubas surprised observers by winning nearly 23%.

“We are not satisfied. The elections were stolen from us. It’s that simple,” Yolanda Paredes, a senator-elect and the wife of Cubas, told reporters.

Police put up fences around the court’s headquarters and fired rubber bullets at young protesters who were throwing stones, authorities said after hundreds of supporters gathered. Elsewhere, demonstrators blocked roads with burning tires and destroying billboards with photos of Peña.

Cubas was due to travel from his stronghold in Ciudad del Este, on the border with Brazil, to the capital, Asunción today.

Runner-up Alegre said on Twitter that he too was calling for the electoral court to do a recount and for an international audit of the computer programs used in electronic ballot boxes.

Interior Minister Federico Gonzalez called for “sanity.”

“A procedure is being followed and that must be respected,” he said, referring to the work of the electoral court.



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