Cartes announced Paraguay poll winner

Horacio Cartes has won Paraguay's presidential election.

Horacio Cartes has won Paraguay’s presidential election.

Businessman Horacio Cartes of the powerful center-right Colorado Party has won Paraguay’s presidential election by a wide margin, the electoral commission has announced.

“Mr. Cartes is the winner in this election,” said Paraguay’s High Electoral Justice Court (TSJE) president Alberto Ramirez Zambonini on Sunday.

With 35 percent of precincts reporting, Cartes took 46.1 percent of the votes, compared to 36.9 percent for Senator Efrain Alegre of the ruling Liberal Party, the board said on its website.

Alegre 50, conceded defeat following the announcement.

The 58-year-old Cartes, who joined the Colorado Party four years ago, has promised to reform the party, which was hit by corruption during its 60-year reign through 2008.

The election was seen as key to restoring the country’s democratic credentials after last year’s disputed impeachment of President Fernando Lugo.

Congress removed Lugo, a leftist and former Roman Catholic bishop, after finding him guilty of mishandling a land eviction at a farm last June that led to the deaths of 11 farmers and six police officers.

Some of Paraguay’s neighbors compared the two-day trial to a coup and imposed diplomatic sanctions on the South American nation.


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