Paraguay presidential runner-up demands recount

ASUNCION – The No. 2 finisher in Paraguay’s presidential election said on Tuesday he had evidence of fraudulent voting and demanded a recount of ballots while the president-elect said he may try to change the constitution to allow re-election of future leaders.
Efrain Alegre, a lawyer from the centre-left GANAR coalition, said on social media that the country’s official elections tribunal was too quick to announce that Mario Abdo of the conservative Colorado Party won the election.

“We already have very clear samples of fraud that we are going to denounce case-by-case,” Mr Alegre said. “We are going to participate in the recount.”

International observers who monitored Sunday’s election reported no major irregularities. Mr Abdo, a 46-year-old former senator who campaigned on an anti-corruption platform, is scheduled to be sworn in as president in mid-August. With 97.67 per cent of ballots counted on Sunday, the tribunal said.

Mr Abdo won 46.44 per cent to Mr Alegre’s 42.74 per cent. Mr Abdo’s Colorado party also appeared to have lost fewer seats in the Senate than expected, possibly emboldening its reform agenda. Official results of the Senate race will be released next month.

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