Santiago Peña has been inaugurated as Paraguay’s latest president, persevering with an almost unbroken streak of energy for the conservative Colorado Social gathering.
Peña, a 44-year-old economist and former finance minister, took his oath of workplace on Tuesday with a speech that paid tribute to his embattled party leader Horacio Cartes.
“Thanks for persevering, with out faltering, in constructing consensus and looking for settlement regardless of variations,” Peña instructed Cartes within the opening moments of his speech.
“At present, we deliver that political calling to the service of all Paraguayans. We goal to be a celebration on the service of the nation.”
The swearing-in ceremony, held on the presidential palace within the capital of Asunción, introduced collectively dignitaries from across the globe, together with the King of Spain Felipe VI and William Lai, the vp of Taiwan.
In his remarks, Peña vowed to supervise a renewal of Paraguay — “the resurgence of a large” — via reforms to the healthcare system, job creation and extra legislation enforcement on the nation’s streets.
A victory for the established order
Peña sailed to victory in April with 43 p.c of the vote, far forward of his closest rival Efraín Alegre, who solely garnered 28-percent assist.
It was a convincing victory for the established order in Paraguay, a landlocked nation that has been dominated for the final 76 years by the Colorado Social gathering.
Solely as soon as, between 2008 and 2013, has that ruling streak been damaged. However the Colorado Social gathering has lengthy confronted accusations of corruption.
Outgoing President Mario Abdo Benítez, for instance, confronted a disaster in his administration when his vp, Hugo Velázquez Moreno, considered resignation after allegations emerged that he was concerned in a bribery scandal.
Peña has lengthy defended Cartes, dismissing the allegations as absurd. He has shut ties to Cartes: As president, Cartes appointed Peña to function finance minister in 2015, although he stepped down two years later to make an unsuccessful bid for the presidency.
Nonetheless, throughout his inauguration, Peña addressed the necessity to fight corruption, calling for “agency and moral management” constructed on transparency.
“I’m satisfied that corruption issues are resolved with an unbiased, neutral and speedy justice,” he mentioned in his speech.
“We’re going to work onerous in order that politics stops being a temptation for organised crime.”
A key ally for Taiwan
Peña’s ascent to the presidency additionally marked continuity for Paraguay’s overseas coverage. The landlocked nation is the one South American nation to keep up formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, regardless of stress from China.
A few of Peña’s rivals on the marketing campaign trial, together with Alegre, had promised to interrupt ties with Taiwan if elected, touting the financial benefits of allying with China as an alternative.
However Peña leaned into his pro-Taiwan platform, promising to strengthen existing relations.
The presence of Taiwan’s Vice President Lai within the inauguration viewers signalled Paraguay’s continued dedication to the island.
Although Taiwan is self-governing, China has by no means recognised its sovereignty and as an alternative considers the island its territory.
Denying this “one China” precept can come at a value. Beijing represents one of many world’s largest economies and largely refuses to do enterprise with any nation that recognises Taiwan’s authorities.
Consequently, Taiwan has solely 13 remaining diplomatic allies, largely small international locations in Central America, the Caribbean and the Pacific area.
In Tuesday’s speech, Peña known as for Paraguay to construct alliances based mostly on “geo-strategic imaginative and prescient”.
“Our relationship with the Republic of China, Taiwan, is an instance of that and of Paraguay’s pleasant and cooperative spirit with nations for which now we have nice affection and with whom we’re not solely allies however brothers,” he mentioned.