Paraguay to have its first woman president
ASUNCION – Agence France-Presse
On Aug. 15, fellow conservative Mario Abdo Benitez, elected in April 22 polls, will begin his five-year term as president of one of Latin America’s poorest countries.
Opposed to the legalization of abortion, Pucheta is from the right-wing Colorado Party, which has been in power in Asuncion for decades.
But Lilian Samaniego, a senator from the Colorado Party, hailed the former lawyer’s accession to the position as an example to “motivate Paraguayan women to continue to fight for real equality of opportunity with men.”
Paraguay has just eight women among its 45 senators, and 11 among the 80 members of the lower house.
Cartes’s resignation had been expected since he was elected to the Senate in the April elections. The new senators are to be sworn in on June 30.
Landlocked Paraguay -- sandwiched between Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil -- enjoyed consistent economic growth during tobacco magnate Cartes’s five years in power, but failed to shake off persistent poverty, corruption and drug trafficking.
It remains a land of contrasts, still marked by the 1954-1989 dictatorship of general Alfredo Stroessner.
Despite an official campaign against endemic corruption, Paraguay remains 135th out of 180 countries on the 2017 corruption index of Transparency International.