The Challenges for Fernando Lugo

Par Andrew Nickson

, by CETRI

Fernando Lugo’s triumph in the Paraguayan presidential elections is historic, not only because it is the first time in the world that an ex-bishop has won a presidential election, but also because it marks the end of the Colorado Party’s hegemony, after more than sixty years in power. After his victory, Lugo ratified his decision to renegotiate with Brazil the unjust contract of the Itaipú hydro-electrical plant and his willingness to increase taxes on the prosperous soy bean producers and improve the unequal distribution of the land. However, it will not be easy. Paraguay inherits serious development problems, while there is widespread lack of confidence in democracy and a corrupt and outdated political class. Furthermore, Lugo can count on little support in parliament and the predictable resistance of the Colorado Party which still controls a powerful system of client relationships.