Paraguay has sworn in multi - millionaire businessman Horacio Cartes as the next president in one of the poorest nations of South America.
In his inaugural speech in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion, however, the wealthy president vowed to wage war on poverty, local media outlets reported Thursday.
" I ' m not in politics to make a career of it or become wealthier, " claimed the new president, who is one of his nation ' s richest individuals.
" I ' m in politics to serve my people, improve the future of new generations and treasure our identity as a free, independent and sovereign people, " pledged the newly - elected President Cartes of the center - right Colorado Party. He further vowed to " put the fatherland first " and to " create opportunities for all " to combat his nation ' s extensive inequity. Cartes defeated his closest rival, the Liberal Efrain Alegre, by a nine - percent margin in April, securing 45.8 percent of the cast vote. Cartes had reportedly campaigned on a platform of fighting poverty and generating job opportunities.
His Colorado Party dominated power in the impoverished country for 60 years and played a key part in backing the military rule of Gen Alfredo Stroessner from 1954 to 1989.
In 2008, however, Cartes’s party was beaten by a left-wing coalition led by Fernando Lugo. In a politically controversial move, Lugo was impeached by the nation’s congress over his handling of a land eviction effort that left 17 people dead. The contentious impeachment process took less than 48 hours and was widely regarded as unfair by many of Paraguay's neighboring states, leading to the country's exclusion from the Mercosur trading bloc. The presidents of the Mercosur nations (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela) announced in July that they would lift the suspension of Paraguay following Cartes' inauguration.