RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Former President Horacio Cartes denounced interference by President Mario Abdo Benitez, both from the ruling national-conservative Colorado Party but from competing currents, in Congress after the appointment of a new president and vice president this Tuesday, a position that fell to Senator Sixto Pereira of the Guasu Front, the largest leftist force in the country.
The communiqué of the Honor Colorado movement, the sector of the Colorado party, presided over by Cartes (2013-2018), was released hours after Óscar Salomón, of the ruling party’s current supporters of Abdo Benítez, was re-elected president of Congress and the Upper House, with the support of some opposition legislators, among them from Frente Guasu.
The Concertación coalition won the Vice-Presidency of Congress after the triumph in the vote of Sixto Pereira, senator of the Frente Guasu, an alliance of parties which has among its banners the defense of the peasantry and advocates higher taxes on sectors such as tobacco.
“We regret the sad and hypocritical action of the holder of the Executive power whose interference has been, once again, focused on weakening and not strengthening the political grouping that consecrated him for the Presidency,” says the communiqué.
Read also: Check out our extensive coverage on Paraguay
The note, also signed by the “cartistas” senators Antonio Barrios and Sergio Godoy, indicates that the election of the new officers of the Senate “evidenced the collusion between the most radicalized sectors of the left, unfortunately, accompanied by elected senators of the Colorado Party.”
Likewise, the text signed by Cartes, one of the country’s wealthiest people, shows the “rejection of the left that justifies and protects invasions and kidnappings, as well as the hackneyed attempt to violate private property and arbitrarily increase taxes.”
“We warn that the arrival of sectors characterized by social violence to the officers of the Congress only brings with it the presaging of more violence and instability like those we have already experienced in our recent past,” the communiqué states.
The imposition of tax burdens on sectors such as tobacco, one of Cartes’s major revenue sources, is one of the proposals of the Guasu Front, which in the Senate has as one of its referents the former president of the country Fernando Lugo (2008-2012).
The text was made public after the Colorado Party, like the rest of the country’s parties, held elections on Sunday to designate candidates and council members for the October 10 municipal elections.
Honor Colorado and Colorado Añeteté, the main current of the party led by Abdo Benítez and to which Salomón also belongs, were at loggerheads until months ago when they signed a truce with a view to the municipal elections.
Both factions ran together in some localities in Sunday’s internal elections. However, in Asunción, they ran different candidacies, in a sign that the alliance between “cartistas” and “abdistas” was not totally consolidated.
In the internal elections of Asunción, the mayoral candidacy of Óscar Rodríguez, the current mayor and allied with Cartes, won against Daniel Centurión, former advisor of Abdo Benítez.