|Voting Underway in Paraguayan Elections|
|Written by Michael Fox|
|Saturday, 19 April 2008 13:32|
Paraguayans are busy exercising their civic duty today as millions of citizens across this South American country are voting in today's elections, one of the most important in the history of this tiny country.
Polls opened at 7am, and will close at 4pm, at which point organizers say the doors will be closed and those left will be allowed to vote. 97% of the voting stations where opened by 9:30am.
2,861,940 Paraguayans are registered to vote in nearly 1,000 voting places throughout the country.
On top of the Presidency, 45 Senators are up for grabs, 80 seats in the Congress, 17 governships, 214 municipal counselors, and 214 assistant counsels. 18 Congress seats in the Mercosur Parliaments are also being disputed. Paraguay is the first country in the region to hold popular elections for the Mercosur Parliament.
As verified by the OAS, things have been relatively calm throughout the day. There have been irregularities, especially denouncements against people trying to coerce voters or buy votes. Numerous other tactics have been heard across the country.
Nevertheless, almost everyone is preparing for these next few hours, which are supposed to be the most conflictive, as members of the parties vie for the count of their votes.