Corrupt elite back in control of Paraguay

A Paraguayan tobacco magnate, faced various challenges during his presidential bid. He was pressed to explain why antinarcotics police officers apprehended a plane carrying cocaine and marijuana on his ranch in 2000; why he went to prison in 1989 on currency fraud charges; and why he had never even voted in past general elections.      Mr. Cartes’s victory returns the presidency to the conservative Colorado Party — which held a tight grip on power for six decades, until 2008 — and opens a new phase of international scrutiny of Paraguay, the landlocked nation with a long reputation as a haven for smugglers.  The race this year was marred by various claims of vote buying, including a video appearing to show a Colorado senator reaching a deal with Liberal Party operatives to buy votes for about $25 apiece in Caaguazú, an eastern department, or province.Voters expressed dismay about having to choose between Mr. Cartes and Mr. Alegre, both of whom share ideologically similar conservative policies. “I don’t have much confidence in the legitimacy of the elections, the Colorado Party is so powerful and has so much money, and people are willing to sell their vote for just a few dollars.”

“Nobody clean gets to the top in our failed democracy,”

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