The new Paraguay’s President begins a five-year term on August 15, a ruling party candidate Mario Abdo Benitez won the presidential election, Financial Times reported on Monday.
Mario Abdo Benitez who ran under the banner of the long-dominant Colorado Party had received 46.44 percent of the vote (with 99.4 percent of the vote counted so far). For Mario, whose father was the influential private secretary of military dictator Alfredo Stroessner, it is a real success.
Abdo celebrated his victory with his wife and supporters, but there was no immediate concession speech from his top rival.
“We hope to be the true protagonists of a democracy that is more and more solid every day,”
President-elect told a crowd waving the national three-coloured flag and the red flag of the Colorado Party. The entire capital is celebrating, the country has enjoyed an economic boom in recent years, largely because of a surge in exports of commodities, especially soybeans.
Despite this, more than one-quarter of Paraguay’s population remains mired in poverty, concentrated in rural areas. Many government critics back a proposal to impose a 10% tax on soybean exports as a means to reduce poverty.
After the results were announced, the 46-year-old new resident promised an “unwavering commitment” to being a good manager of the government.
“We built an electoral project with a dialogue of reconciliation and pardon among all Paraguayans,”
Who is Mario Abdo Benitez?
The new Paraguay’s leader is the son of the former private secretary of ex-strongman Stroessner, who ruled Paraguay for 35 years until he was forced into exile in neighbouring Brazil in 1989. Stroessner’s regime, a Cold War ally of Washington, was notorious for the imprisonment, killings and “disappearances” of opponents and alleged Communist sympathizers.
Abdo has disassociated himself from the toxic Stroessner legacy and promises he is committed to democracy and human rights. About 4.2m of Paraguay’s 6.9m youthful population — which has a median age of 25 — were eligible to vote for the new president, with 61 percent of voters participating, the lowest in recent history.