Region Continues Push to Give Voting Rights to Citizens Living Abroad

By Gaudin, Andres | NotiSur - South American Political and Economic Affairs, October 28, 2011 | Go to article overview

Region Continues Push to Give Voting Rights to Citizens Living Abroad


Gaudin, Andres, NotiSur - South American Political and Economic Affairs


On Oct. 9, Paraguay became the eighth South American country, and the 117th of the 189 nations represented at the UN, to give citizens living abroad the right to vote and run for office, regardless of where they reside. Beginning with the 2013 presidential election, when Paraguayans will choose a successor to President Fernando Lugo, the registered-voter roll will be enriched by slightly more than 700,000 new voters. All political parties had called on their members to vote "yes" in the referendum, but not all mobilized to ensure the success of an exercise called to strengthen the country's still-fragile democracy.

Prior to the referendum, which fulfills one of Lugo's campaign promises, he had said, "Democracy's consolidation comes about with a high level of participation." In his final message before the vote, he issued a communique asking voters to support the "yes" position and saying, "We who live in the country enjoy all rights, but we have an historic debt to our brothers and sisters who were forced to live abroad."

The president was referring to the bloody dictatorship of Gen. Alfredo Stroessner (1954-1989), and he said, "Tens of thousands of Paraguayans had to escape persecution, and many others left looking for the work that the country denied them. We have to ensure that those compatriots and their descendants regain the right to vote, which they lost for simply not being in the country."

In South America, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela already have progressive constitutional articles that guarantee their citizens the right to elect and be elected, wherever they live. Some political groups in Chile and Uruguay have tried to pass similar legislation but have run up against a wall built by the most conservative sectors of their societies.

Paraguay initiative wins on first try

This was Paraguay's first attempt, and all parties endorsed it, some generously and others with a discourse that was mean-spirited and, most of all, profoundly demagogic. They are, coincidentally, the most conservative parties on the political spectrum: the Partido Colorado (PC), which for 35 years supported and tried to give a democratic face to the dictatorship, and the Union Nacional de Ciudadanos Eticos (UNACE), founded and led by attempted-coup leader Gen. Lino Oviedo, who was jailed for involvement in political crimes and the most serious acts of corruption (NotiSur, Oct. 12, 2007).

The civil-society organization Centro de Derechos Humanos y Ciudadania del Inmigrante (CDHCI) and the Foro de Mujeres del MERCOSUR (FMM) denounced the attitudes of both parties. "We recognize that the right to participate in the political destiny of the country by voting also returns dignity and citizenship to these persons, as well as strengthening their ties to the country as its democracy matures and it regains sovereignty after so many years of pillage," said CDHCI coordinator Paulo Illes.

The civil-society organization Centro de Derechos Humanos y Ciudadanfa del Inmigrante (CDHCI) and the Foro de Mujeres del MERCOSUR (FMM) denounced the attitudes of both parties. "We recognize that the right to participate in the political destiny of the country by voting also returns dignity and citizenship to these persons, as well as strengthening their ties to the country as its democracy matures and it regains sovereignty after so many years of pillage," said CDHCI coordinator Paulo Illes.

Ivonne Lugo of the FMM said the "yes" victory on Oct. 9 "was a way to force the parties of the dictatorship to respect a minimal commitment to human rights and also respect the international community into which we are integrated, becoming the 117th country to guarantee everyone the right to vote."

In the referendum, "yes" received 80% of the vote and "no" the remaining 20%, but, because of the conservatives' boycott, with the complicity of the major media, only 12. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Region Continues Push to Give Voting Rights to Citizens Living Abroad
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.