Paraguay: Polls Closing, Results Point to Lugo Victory

6:30 PM

A full moon hangs in the clear sky.  Under the setting sun, the last electoral centers are counting the ballots.  In the poor barrio, Bañado, on the outskirts of Asuncion, in the San Cayetano voting center, the last citizens have just cast their ballots, as the cell phone messages start to come in:

"Lugo’s ahead 3-5 points."

Now, at 6:30 pm, almost all of the polls taken in front of the voting centers are reporting a Lugo victory.  The ballots are being transported to the Supreme Tribunal of Electoral Justice (TSJE), and the first official results are being reported.  With approximately 10% of the votes in, Lugo’s ahead of Blanca Ovelar by 4%, with approximately 38% in his favor.

Fireworks explode in the distance, horns beep in the streets, and Lugo supporters are beginning to celebrate.

Fernando Lugo will be speaking at 7:30pm in a press conference, which will be covered by upsidedownworld.  The news is reporting he’ll then be headed to the Panteon de los Heroes, where he’s receive his supporters.

The analysts are already speaking as though the victory is a given: "One party has practically grown over three generations, and for sure they are going to change their discourse, and we aren’t speaking about an extreme difference…"

Of course, it’s not over yet, but it appears that for the first time in 60 years, it’s leaning in the direction of the opposition, and the results will be complete in just a few hours.

7:30 PM

Lugo has just appeared before a crowd of supporters at the campaign headquarters in Asuncion, to speak for the first time since the closure of today’s polls.  The large room is filled with hundreds of jubilant supporters, and draped in the red, white and blue colors that represent Lugo’s party, the Patriotic Alliance for Change.

"I just wanted to say a few quick words.  You are guilty for the happiness for the majority of Paraguayans.  Thank you!  Thanks you for joining us from the beginning, for this simple experience humble, modest, today we can confirm that the small are also capable to succeed.  Really, I want to tell you that this is the Paraguay that I dreamed of, the Paraguay of many colors, a Paraguay of all of our faces, the Paraguay of everyone.  Today, like never before, I can promise, that this Lugo that has a heart, loves you very much," says Lugo.