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Asuncion, May 1 – Paraguay’s top electoral court has confirmed that ruling Colorado Party candidate Santiago Pena won the presidential elections.
According to the Superior Court of Electoral Justice, with more than 96 per cent of the ballots counted, the 44-year-old economist and former Finance Minister garnered close to 43 per cent of the votes, widely surpassing his main rival Efrain Alegre, candidate of the Coalition for a New Paraguay, reports Xinhua news agency.
Alegre won 27.5 per cent of the votes with no chance of gaining on Pena.
Pena will succeed President Mario Abdo Benitez, also from the Colorado Party, to govern for the next five years.
In Sunday’s elections, the legislature’s 45 senators and 80 deputies were also elected, as were the country’s 17 governors.
According to the court, voter participation was at 63.13 per cent.
Some 4.8 million of the South American country’s 7.5 million people were eligible to vote in the election.
“Thank you for this Colorado victory, thank you for this Paraguayan victory,” Pena said.
“Today, we are not celebrating a personal triumph, we are celebrating the victory of a people who with their vote chose the path of social peace, dialogue, fraternity and national reconciliation,” he added.
Conceding defeat, Alegre said that “the effort was not enough”.
The Colorado Party has governed Paraguay almost continually since 1947 — through a dictatorship and since the return of democracy in 1989.