Paraguay. According to
Countryaah, the most notable event during the year was the
retirement of retired general Lino Oviedo at the age of 69
in a helicopter crash in the Chacera region on February 2,
in the midst of an ongoing presidential campaign in which he
was running for the National Association of Ethical Citizens
(UNACE). Oviedo was a controversial person who participated
in the military coup against dictator Alfredo Stroessner in
1989 and organized a coup attempt against the democratically
elected President Juan Carlos Wasmosy in 1996 and was
believed to be behind the assassination of Vice President
Luís María Argaña in 1999.
The sudden death of Oviedo inevitably left its mark on
the presidential election itself, which was held April 21.
Although Oviedo was only in third place in opinion polls at
the time of his death, most of his sympathizers instead cast
their votes on businessman Horacio Cartes, candidate for the
National Republican Organization (ANR), one of many breakout
parties from Paraguay's most powerful party, the Colorado
Party. Cartes won the election with 49% of the vote against
the main opposition candidate Efraín Alegre for the Paraguay
Alegre alliance, which received 39% of the cast and included
the ruling Liberal Radical Party (PLRA). In the
congressional elections held at the same time, the ANR won a
majority position in the House of Representatives and became
the largest party in the Senate while the PLRA retained its
mandate. Cartes swore presidential election on August 15.
The electoral process was overseen by a delegation from
the US cooperative organization OAS, and the flawless
implementation of the presidential election led to Paraguay
re-joining the Mercosur regional free trade organization.
Paraguay was expelled from Mercosur following the
democratically very dubious national judicial process
against the former democratically elected President Fernando
Lugo in June 2012.
Two of President Carte's first steps were to invite four
opposition parties to a national pact and to order the army
to step up its actions against the guerrilla group Ejército
del Pueblo Paraguayo (EPP) that has been active for several