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Paraguay’s president-elect, Mario Abdo Benitez, addresses supporters during victory celebrations at the headquarters of the Colorado Party, April 22, 2018 (AP photo by Jorge Saenz).

Paraguay’s New Pro-Business President Cements Latin America’s Shift to the Right

Thursday, April 26, 2018

On Sunday, Paraguayans picked a new president and vice president, along with every member in their country’s Congress. There was a lot at stake, starting with the credibility of the voting itself. Paraguay was mired in political turmoil last year after Congress considered expanding presidential term limits—a move that worried many people who had lived through Alfredo Stroessner’s 35-year dictatorship, which came to an end in a military coup in 1989.

So the smooth electoral process on April 22, overseen by the Organization of American States and the European Union, should serve as reassurance, both to Paraguayans and to a steadily growing base of outside investors with a stake in the country’s stability, that Paraguay is still headed in the right direction. The fact that Mario Abdo Benitez, 46, won the presidential race with approximately 47 percent of the vote, alongside his running mate, Vice President-elect Hugo Velazquez, should ease their worries further. ...

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