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Vote for imposition?

Tourist Caazapa

Almost silently, without much noise, one of the greatest constitutional aberrations in memory continues. It is about the impossibility of processing personal documents to citizens who have not attended to vote and who are punished with a fine equivalent to half a minimum wage, Gs. 49,044. The honorable ones have been very busy figuring out how to apply this penalty that makes pariahs out of Paraguayan citizens who are barbarically denied the right to leave and enter their own country. And this goes back a long way.

The Riera project (2021) attempted, without success, to grant the National Police, through its Identification Department, the power to deny passports to citizens who have not voted in a general election and owe the resulting fine of half a minimum wage ( Gs. 49.044). Riera was not the only one concerned about the issue. Senator Roberto Acevedo (2011), Deputy Mario Soto (2012) and Deputy Cándido Aguilera (2013) had already done it before, with two bills, initiatives that fell by the wayside.

Deputy Oscar Tuma, however, managed to have his project become Law 3,872 promulgated on November 23, 2009 by the Executive Power. It underlines that “the exercise of suffrage constitutes an obligation for all legally authorized citizens, whose non-compliance will be sanctioned as established in article 332 of this Code.” What happened to that law, is it in force, was it repealed, is it regulated or is it just another piece of paper in the official files? The discussion is still hot and the comings and goings between Congress and the EP have occupied the last debates of the year.

In the heat of the argumentative exchange, this phrase from a senator who proposed to temporarily try the fine and its derivations was floating. It’s about, he said, forcing people to take responsibility for voting.

That being said with all due respect to the senator, what if instead of forcing, they tried to persuade the citizen, convince him with reliable candidacies and proposals tailored to his aspirations and needs? What is the value of a compulsive vote if in each newsletter there are nothing more than empty candidacies and functional names for the dark powers that have infiltrated the parties and the State itself like a cancer?

Think like leaders, legislators, not like a political police.

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The entrance Vote for imposition? was first published on The Independent.

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