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Official Election Returns Show Stroessner Won 88.6 Percent

February 18, 1988

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) _ Gen. Alfredo Stroessner was re-elected president with 88.6 percent of the vote, according to official election returns released Thursday.

Stroessner, 75, has ruled this landlocked nation since seizing power in an army coup in 1954. Only North Korea’s Kim Il-Sung, in power since 1948, has ruled a nation longer than Stroessner.

The general is to be sworn into office for the eighth time, to a five-year term, on Aug. 15.

The official figures confirm the results announced Sunday, when the governing Colorado Party announced the victory 90 minutes after the polling ended.

According to the Central Electoral Board, Stroessner won with 1,187,738 votes, or 88.6 percent; Luis Maria Vega of the Radical Liberal Party got 95,440, or 7.12 percent; and Carlos Ferreira Ybarra of the Liberal Party got 43,442, or 3.17 percent.

The figures showed 6,056 blank votes and 7,187 nullified ballots were cast as part of an unsuccessful campaign by the opposition, which claimed the elections were rigged to keep Stroessner in power.

Paraguay has 1.4 million registered voters. Nearly 107,000 voters did not cast ballots, according to the election board.

Under the terms of the results, the Colorado Party, in power since 1947, won two-thirds of the 36 Senate and 72 House of Deputies seats. The Radical Liberals won 8 Senate seats and 17 House seats, with the Liberals getting 4 Senate seats and 7 House seats.

Stroessner won the last national elections of 1983 with a slightly higher percentage, 90.06.

Buenaventura Salinas, head of the electoral board, said 92.62 percent of the registered voters cast ballots. Opposition politicians from the National Committee For Free Elections claimed 65 to 70 percent of the voters abstained from casting ballots.

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