Santiago Pea of Paraguay’s ruling party has won the presidential election.
Santiago Pea of Paraguay’s reigning conservative Colorado Party defeated a center-left rival in the presidential election.
According to election officials, Mr Pea, an economist, received more than 42% of the vote with practically all ballots counted.
Efran Alegre, candidate of the Concertación Nacional coalition, received about 28% of the vote. He later conceded defeat.
For more than 70 years, the Colorado Party has controlled the political scene in the landlocked South American country.
The presidential election was determined in a single round of voting on Sunday.
Mr Pea, 44, addressed his fans, saying, “Thank you for this Colorado victory, thank you for this Paraguayan victory.”
He also urged national unity and consensus. The economy of Paraguay is predicted to rise by more than 4% this year, yet the country suffers from high levels of poverty and corruption.
“We have a lot to do, after the last years of economic stagnation, of fiscal deficit, the task that awaits us is not for a single person or a single party,” Mr Pea added.
Meanwhile, Mr Alegre, 60, stated that his coalition made significant efforts, but the election results demonstrated that this was insufficient.
During his campaign, he advocated for austerity measures to address the nation’s growing fiscal deficit and promised to combat corruption.
He also urged that his country sever ties with Taiwan and instead ally with China.
Only 14 countries have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan at the moment.
China considers the island as a renegade province that must be returned to Beijing’s rule, including by force if necessary.
On Sunday, Paraguayans voted in legislative elections, with the Colorado Party receiving the most votes.