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

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

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.

A former president of the Senate, Abdo ran a campaign with the powerful Colorado Party that focused on increasing government transparency in a country that is widely considered to be one of South America’s most corrupt. Abdo is even planning to request the resignation of all nine ministers of the country’s Supreme Court, which has a reputation for playing favorites.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.