jueves, 25 de abril de 2013

Conservative becomes Paraguay's President

Paraguayans voted in Horacio Cartes of the conservative Colorado party as president on 21 April, in general elections expected to end the diplomatic isolation provoked by parliament's dismissal in 2012 of the elected, Leftist president, Fernando Lugo. the Liberal candidate Efraín Alegre was runner-up while Aníbal Carrillo, candidate of the Frente Guasu formation of former president Lugo obtained a small percentage of votes, Europa Press reported. Unasur - the Union of South American Nations - recognized the results and Cartes reportedly began contacts to hasten Paraguay's return to the southern trading block Mercosur, from which it was excluded after Lugo's dismissal. Venezuela's socialist President Nicolás Maduro spoke by phone to Cartes, discussing Paraguay's return to Mercosur and a normalization of bilateral ties, Europa Press reported on 24 April. The two states effectively severed ties after Lugo's fall, while their deteriorating relations recently degenerated into bitter verbal exchanges between Venezuelan officials and Paraguay's provisional government led by the conservative Federico Franco. Franco was to hand over power on 15 August, Europa Press reported. Cartes meanwhile named a transitional government team that included: Juan Carlos López Moreira, a businessman and close associate as the team's general coordinator, Leila Rachid Lichi, Paraguay's foreign minister in 2003-6, in charge of foreign affairs and the former Central Bank governor Germán Rojas Irigoyen as a provisional economy minister, ICN Diario reported on 24 April.

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