Photo: Paraguay New President Horacio Cartes
Opposition candidate Horacio Cartes won Paraguay’s presidential election.
“This is a victory for the Republic of Paraguay because all Paraguayans have won, the party won, but the Republic of Paraguay is the winner,” Cartes, of the Colorado Party, told supporters Sunday night.
Cartes’s main rival, Efrain Alegre, conceded earlier in the evening.
Cartes won 45.91 percent of the vote, while Alegre garnered 36.84 percent, with 81.06 percent of the ballots counted, the national elections commission said.
“We should feel very proud as Paraguayans of what we have been able to show Paraguay and the world,” Cartes said in his victory speech.
Cartes was joined at the victory celebration by running mate Juan Afara, family and friends.
Eleven candidates ran for the presidency, but the polls showed Cartes and Alegre as the favorites in the election, the sixth held since the advent of democracy in the small South American country.
Cartes will be inaugurated on Aug. 15, succeeding President Federico Franco.
Franco, elected vice president in 2008, is serving out the term of Fernando Lugo, who was impeached and deposed on June 22 in a move that neighboring countries labeled a coup.