On Thursday, September 29, a sizable fire broke out at the national election body’s headquarters, according to news agency Reuters.
Firefighters and other emergency services were to the scene almost away as a massive cloud of smoke emerged from the Superior Court of Electoral Justice (TSJE) in the Asuncion capital following the event.
Hundreds of officials operate in Asuncion, which also houses the equipment and supplies needed in the elections. There are rumours that the massive fire could make the upcoming primary and general elections seem uncertain.
According to Asuncion’s electoral justice Jorge Bogarin, who was reported by Reuters, there were no recent reports of any fatalities.
Bogarin further added that the firefighters were working to prevent the fire to spread further. He also mentioned that the cause of the fire could not be confirmed yet.
According to reports, the current date for the presidential candidates’ primaries is December 18.
On April 30 of the next year, the general elections for president, vice president, governor, and representatives would take place.
The fire may have damaged 8,500 voting machines, according to TSJE President Jaime Bastard, who stated this during a news conference. Additionally, Bastard declared that he would consider conducting the primaries twice in December.
However, the critics of the proposal have cast doubt on it. Efrain Alegre, the leader of the opposition Liberal Party, was quoted by Reuters as saying that dividing the primaries would be a strategy ‘to carry out a fraud.’