Paraguay holds general elections

Paraguay holds general elections 

Governing Colorado Party presidential candidate Mario Abdo Benitez shows his finger after casting his ballot at a polling place in Asuncion, Paraguay, on April 22, 2018. EPA-EFE/Andres Cristaldo

Asuncion, Apr 22 (efe-epa).- Paraguay is holding general elections on Sunday, with governing party candidate Mario Abdo Benitez and opposition member Efrain Alegre vying to become the South American country’s next president.

Some 4 million voters are eligible to cast ballots in the general elections.

The 1,081 polling places across Paraguay opened at 7:00 am and will close at 4:00 pm.

Abdo Benitez is the candidate of the governing Colorado Party and Alegre is the leader of Ganar, an opposition coalition that includes his Liberal Party and the leftist Guasu Front.

Eight other candidates are on the presidential ballot, but the polls indicate that Abdo Benitez and Alegre are the only ones with a chance to win.

Voters are also casting ballots for the members of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, the governors of the 17 provinces and the members of the Mercosur Parliament (Parlasur).

Some 15,000 candidates from 23 parties and other political groups are running for office in the general elections.

About 300 election observers from the European Union, Organization of American States (OAS) and Inter-American Union of Electoral Bodies (Uniore) are monitoring the vote.