As the ruling Colorado Party still needs to work out the differences between incumbent President Mario Abdo Benítez and his predecessor Horacio Cartés who both endorse separate candidates, Paraguay's left has already picked their nominee - former Health Minister María Esperanza Martínez (2008-2012).
In a political context marked by COVID-19 restrictions, the former cabinet member under President Fernando Lugo will seek to remove the Colorados from office.
A former Catholic Bishop, Lugo currently holds a seat on Paraguay's Senate since 2013 after being removed from the presidency through impeachment in 2012. Like him, Martínez is also a senator for the leftist Frente Guasú (FG) coalition, which is made up of various parties, movements and social organizations grouped under Lugo.
Abdo and Cartés are entangled in a battle for control of the Colorado Party.
The FG's convention ñemongeta chose Esperanza Martínez, a physician who now needs to finalize her candidacy for the national elections of 2023 to face Santiago Peña of Cartés' Honor Colorado movement and/or Vice President Hugo Velázquez of Abdo's Colorado Añetete.
Given the Colorado Party's overwhelming financial edge, opposition parties and movements other than the FG have signed a pre-electoral agreement to define the methodology for the selection of candidates to avoid vote dispersion
Regarding former President Lugo, analyst Filártiga Callizotiene explained that affirmed that he has a leading role in the internal political space of the Frente Guasu.
He is responsible for keeping the political sectors that make up the front united, she added.
Despite his scandalous departure from the López Palace (for which Paraguay was suspended from Mercosur), Lugo remains a leading opposition figure and has substantial popular support. His endorsement could be beneficial for Martínez.