Paraguay's leading presidential pre-candidate and former bishop Fernando Lugo received this week the formal support from one of the country's main opposition parties the Authentic Liberal Radicals, PLRA.
PLRA decided to support Mr. Lugo during a national assembly of delegates over the weekend. Paraguay's presidential election is scheduled for April 2008. PLRA chairman Deputy Blas Llano confirmed that in the convention, "1.137 delegates from all over the country voted for Lugo and also awarded me a mandate to request that a liberal accompanies the presidential ticket for the Concertacion Nacional alliance, to which we belong". Concertacion Nacional is a political project following on the Chilean experience, which includes all major opposition parties with parliamentary representation, trade unions, social and peasant organizations with the purpose of challenging the hegemonic Partido Colorado that has dominated Paraguayan politics for decades. The former cleric is currently in United States holding meetings with Paraguayan immigrants who said they are willing to donate funds for the coming presidential primaries and national election. Lugo, 58, was born in one of the poorest rural areas of Paraguay and last December resigned as bishop and to his thirty years of clergyman following a popular request, supported with100.000 signatures, asking him for "a change alternative" in Paraguay.