Blanca Margarita Ovelar de Duarte (born September 2, 1957) is a Paraguayan politician and former Minister of Education. She was the Colorado Party's nominee for president in the April 2008 presidential election, in which she was defeated.
Ovelar was backed for the Colorado Party nomination by President Nicanor Duarte. Initial results showed Ovelar narrowly defeating her rival for the nomination, former Vice President Luis Castiglioni, in the party's primary, held in December 2007; however, the result was disputed, leading to a recount. On January 21, the Colorado Party electoral commission announced that Ovelar had won with 45.04% of the vote against 44.5% for Castiglioni, although Castiglioni continued to claim victory.
She is the first woman to run for president in Paraguay, and would have been Paraguay's first female president if elected. Opposition candidate Fernando Lugo won the election, held on April 20, 2008, thereby ousting the Colorado Party after 61 years of continuous rule. Ovelar conceded the race to Lugo that very night at about 9 PM local time.
- "Woman leads Paraguay ruling party's presidential primary", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), December 17, 2007.
- "Once-jailed Paraguayan army chief nominated for opposition run for president", Associated Press (The China Post), January 14, 2008.
- "Paraguay nominates first woman for president, ruling party schism threatens bid", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), January 22, 2008.