Former bishop wins election in Paraguay

April 21st, 2008 - 11:08 am ICT by admin  

Asuncion (Paraguay), April 21 (DPA) Centre-left candidate Fernando Lugo, a former Roman Catholic bishop, won a historic election Sunday in Paraguay, according to exit poll results released after the end of voting. If confirmed by official results, Lugo’s triumph would oust the conservative Partido Colorado, which has ruled uninterrupted for 61 years including more than 30 years under dictator Alfredo Stroessner.

According to exit polls published by the daily ABC Digital, Lugo was set to obtain around 43 percent of the vote to ruling-party candidate Blanca Ovelar’s 37 percent and former coup leader General Lino Oviedo’s 16 percent.

The electoral commission reported high turnout, which observers had said was likely to favour Lugo.

According to Paraguayan election law, a plurality is enough for the winner of Sunday’s election to succeed outgoing President Nicanor Duarte Frutos, with a five-year mandate.

Ovelar, however, claimed that the election was technically tied and said that she was waiting for the official results “with optimism, responsibility and confidence.”

Lugo was set to appear before reporters later Sunday.

Paraguayans went to the polls without major incidents Sunday amid some reports of fraud.

Election observers in Paraguay have accused the Partido Colorado, which has ruled since 1947, of election fraud in favour of its candidate, Ovelar, national media reported.

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