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.
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.
Paraguay’s ruling conservative party lost the mayor’s office in the capital Asunción on Sunday in a surprise midterm setback for President Horacio Cartes. Popular TV presenter Mario Ferreiro defeated incumbent Arnaldo Samaniego of the president’s Colorado party, 50.99% to 40.56%, according to official results with all ballots counted.
Conservative businessman Horacio Cartes was sworn in as president of Paraguay on Thursday, amid slowly improving relations with South American neighbors, and Mercosur members, damaged by the 2012 removal of populist President Fernando Lugo, who was impeached on incompetence.
Millionaire businessman Horacio Cartes won Paraguay's Sunday presidential election, returning the powerful centre-right Colorado Party to power after a brief spell started in 2008 ended in impeachment last year. Cartes won with a 9 or 10 percentage point lead over Efrain Alegre of the ruling Liberal Party, the head of the country's electoral tribunal said.
“We’re optimistic about Sunday’s election and the future of Paraguay if we can agree on long term state policies, but something is for certain: democracy in Paraguay is here to stay” said Ricardo Caballero Aquino, Chargé d’affaires of the Paraguayan embassy in Montevideo who was also positive about future relations with Unasur and Mercosur.
Paraguay businessman Horacio Cartes a newcomer to politics and the presidential candidate for the conservative Colorado party that ruled the landlocked country for decades leads public opinion polls less than a month ahead of the general election.