The Organization of American States (OAS) asked Paraguay to introduce changes in the electoral system that would increase the participation of women in politics, since our country has one of the lowest levels of parity in the region.
The agency made the recommendation within the final report of an observation mission that followed the municipal elections in Paraguay in 2021 and that was presented this Wednesday at a session of its Permanent Council.
The report recommends that the Paraguayan government “guarantee equal composition of the lists of candidates” for Congress.
In addition, it suggests “introducing a double preferential vote” so that voters can choose a male and female candidate, if the country maintains the open list system.
The percentage of women in the Paraguayan Parliament is 16.3%, below the Latin American average of 32.9%, said the head of the OAS electoral mission in Paraguay, Juan Pablo Corlazzoli, in the presentation of the report.
In addition to the lack of parity, the observation mission also asked the country to assess the risks of electronic voting, which was introduced in municipal elections, just as it suggested imposing a spending limit on political campaigns.
The Paraguayan ambassador to the OAS, Raúl Martínez, assured that the Government will take into account the suggestions of the report “to improve.” However, he clarified that “in the electoral world there is no single form that can be established as mandatory for all countries.”
The results of the municipal elections, which should have been held in 2020 but were postponed due to the pandemic, were a victory for the Colorado Party, with mayors in 163 districts, 62 for the Liberal Party, the largest opposition party.
The rest of the 261 districts were divided between five minority parties (6), alliances (22) and movements (8), according to official data.