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Paraguay Elects New President


Paraguay's President Elect Mario Abdo Benitez. left, of Colorado Party, and his wife Silvana Lopez Moreira wave at supporters during celebrations at the party headquarter's in Asuncion, Paraguay, Sunday, April 22, 2018.

Voters in Paraguay have selected Mario Abdo Benitez of the ruling Colorado Party as the country's new president with 47 percent of the vote.

His opponent Efrain Alegre won 43 percent of the ballots.

Abdo, who is 46, will replace outgoing President Horacio Cartes on August 15.

Abdo's victory was predicted by political analysts, but they had expected him to win by as much as a 20 percent margin.

Abdo's father was the personal secretary to dictator Alfredo Stroessner, whom rights group have accused of being responsible for thousands of killings and disappearances during his rule from 1954 to 1989.

"I am proud that the victims who suffered mistreatment and torture at that time are working with me today," Abdo told the French news agency.

Political analyst Francisco Capli said Abdo's connection with Stroessner was not "part of the discussion in this campaign" because "those who are less than 40 years old no longer remember the dictatorship."

"This is another era," said Abdo.

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