National Republican Association

Published 5th April, 2013

The National Republican Association or ANR is better known as the Colorado Party. The party was founded in 1887 by Bernardino Caballero and has been the main party of Paraguay for much of the 130 years since its foundation. The party describes itself as Centre-right and believes in Conservatism, Liberal conservatism and Paraguayan nationalism.

The party ruled the country from 1887 until 1904 when the Liberal Party won elections and held on to power until 1940. In 1946 the Colorado Party won once more with the support of the Febrerista Revolutionary Party (PRF). The PRF was eventually squeezed out of government and in 1947 the Colorados became the only legitimate party and ruled continuously until 2008.

From 1954 the country was ruled by President Alfredo Stroessner until 1989 when this dictator was replaced in a coup by Andrés Rodríguez. Although there had been elections in the intervening period they were all carefully stage managed.

Rodríguez legalised most opposition parties and called a general election for 1st May 1989. This was the first properly democratic election, although the 1993 election resulted in the first civilian president in forty years.

The country then elected a succession of Colorado presidents and the party dominated both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies. However, the Colorado Party has seen its strength in Congress decline over the years. In 1998 they held 24 of the 45 Senate seats and 45 Chamber of Deputies seats in the 80 seat chamber. This dropped to 16 Senate seats and 37 Deputies in 2003 and in 2008 the party dropped further to 15 Senate seats and 29 Deputies.

In the 2008 election the party also lost the presidential election for the first time in more than 60 years and their candidate Blanca Ovelar took 30.6% of the vote compared with Fernando Lugo of the Patriotic Alliance for Change (PAC) who took 42.3%.

The National Republican Association is a member of the International Democrat Union and also a member of the regional Union of Latin American Parties.

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