Mario Abdo Benitez, Marito, took over as Paraguay's new president on Wednesday, replacing a seemingly disgruntled Horacio Cartes, who left the inauguration ceremony before it finished. Abdo Benitez, 46, promised to combat poverty and entrenched corruption, and urged Paraguayans to look toward the future and not remain stuck in the past as he took the oath of office to start a five-year term.
President Tsai Ing-wen will visit two of Taiwan's diplomatic allies, Paraguay and Belize, Aug. 12-20, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Maria Liu said on Monday. On the trip, Tsai will make transit stops in the United States - in Los Angeles on first leg and in Houston on the return journey, Liu said.
Paraguay will have a woman president for the first time in its history, at least temporarily, after outgoing leader Horacio Cartes decided to step down ahead of schedule. Vice-President Alicia Pucheta, 68, will complete Cartes' mandate after he resigned to become a senator.
Paraguay's business-friendly ruling party lost fewer seats in Sunday's Senate election, than expected, ensuring strict fiscal policies while lessening chances of a tax hike on the key soy sector. Farmers in the world's No. 4 soybean exporter had feared that the new Senate might approves a measure, defeated last year, that would slap a 10% levy on exports.
Paraguay's Mario Abdo Benitez, “Marito”, who represents the country's long-dominant Colorado Party, was elected as president on Sunday, landing the top job in the country with the smallest economy in Mercosur. The US-educated son of a senior aide to the country's late dictator, Abdo Benitez won slightly more than 46% of the vote, with his centrist opponent Efrain Alegre taking almost 43% in a race that was far closer than expected.
Former Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla began this week her activities as head of the Organization of American States (OAS) mission that will observe Paraguay’s April 22 elections. During an event at Paraguay’s TSJE electoral court, Chinchilla and the president of the TSJE, Jaime Bestard, signed an agreement establishing the terms of the mission, which will include 39 observers from 14 countries.
With Latin America’s three most populous countries voting for president this year, it’s easy to overlook the election in landlocked Paraguay (population 7 million) that takes place on April 22.