Paraguay party faces challenge
Ex-army chief Lino Cesar Oviedo hopes to convert popularity into electoral success.
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2008 12:54 GMT
The elections pose the first real challenge to
the ruling Colorado party [AFP]

The Colorado party is the longest ruling party in the world, and has governed Paraguay for 60 years.

But change could occur as the small South American nation prepares for presidential elections in April.
The April 20 presidential election will decide who succeeds Nicanor Duarte, the president, whose five-year term ends in August.

A contributing factor to possible change is Lino Cesar Oviedo, the one-time commander of Paraguay's army, and his decision to contest the elections.
Oviedo was freed from prison last year and cleared of a coup-plotting conviction, and has formalised his presidential nomination under an opposition party.

'The solution'

Considered a populist with support among Paraguay's poor Indian majority, Oviedo is the only contender on the primary ballot for the National Union of Ethical Citizens, an opposition party he found in 2000. 

Oviedo says he was once the victim of political persecution.

Now he calls himself the solution to the country's endemic corruption and poverty that affects up to half of the country's six million people.
Al Jazeera and agencies
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