Colorado Party a winner in Paraguay

May 12, 1998|By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

ASUNCION, Paraguay -- Shouting, singing and waving bright-red banners, stalwarts of the long-ruling Colorado Party celebrated what appeared to be the sweeping victory of Raul Cubas Grau, hailed yesterday as Paraguay's "virtual president- elect."

Democratic Alliance candidate Domingo Laino, defeated in his third bid to be president, had claimed victory Sunday evening, but a spokesman said yesterday that Laino would concede when the official vote count was announced, probably by today.

Three exit polls and partial results yesterday indicated an unexpectedly large win for the Colorados, in power for 51 years.

Analysts attributed the win to party loyalty, fear of change -- and Gen. Lino Oviedo, a convicted coup plotter and populist hero considered by many to be the true Colorado candidate in Sunday's race.

Pub Date: 5/12/98

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