Santiago Peña takes office as Paraguay’s president with pro-Taiwan message | Elections News

Santiago Peña takes office as Paraguay’s president with pro-Taiwan message | Elections News
Santiago Peña takes office as Paraguay’s president with pro-Taiwan message | Elections News

Santiago Peña has been inaugurated as Paraguay’s latest president, persevering with a virtually unbroken streak of energy for the conservative Colorado Social gathering.

Peña, a 44-year-old economist and former finance minister, took his oath of workplace on Tuesday with a speech that paid tribute to his embattled party leader Horacio Cartes.

“Thanks for persevering, with out faltering, in constructing consensus and looking for settlement regardless of variations,” Peña advised Cartes within the opening moments of his speech.

“In the present day, we carry that political calling to the service of all Paraguayans. We goal to be a celebration on the service of the nation.”

The swearing-in ceremony, held on the presidential palace within the capital of Asunción, introduced collectively dignitaries from across the globe, together with the King of Spain Felipe VI and William Lai, the vice chairman of Taiwan.

In his remarks, Peña vowed to supervise a renewal of Paraguay — “the resurgence of a large” — via reforms to the healthcare system, job creation and extra regulation enforcement on the nation’s streets.

Audiences collect on the Palacio de Lopez, the presidential palace, for the inauguration of President Santiago Peña [Jorge Saenz/AP Photo]

A victory for the established order

Peña sailed to victory in April with 43 p.c of the vote, far forward of his closest rival Efraín Alegre, who solely garnered 28-percent help.

It was a powerful victory for the established order in Paraguay, a landlocked nation that has been dominated for the final 76 years by the Colorado Social gathering.

Solely as soon as, between 2008 and 2013, has that ruling streak been damaged. However the Colorado Social gathering has lengthy confronted accusations of corruption.

Outgoing President Mario Abdo Benítez, for instance, confronted a disaster in his administration when his vice chairman, Hugo Velázquez Moreno, considered resignation after allegations emerged that he was concerned in a bribery scandal.

And occasion chief Cartes — a businessman and former president himself — has confronted sanctions in the US for “significant corruption” and “involvement with international terrorist organizations”.

Peña has lengthy defended Cartes, dismissing the allegations as absurd. He has shut ties to Cartes: As president, Cartes appointed Peña to function finance minister in 2015, although he stepped down two years later to make an unsuccessful bid for the presidency.

Nonetheless, throughout his inauguration, Peña addressed the necessity to fight corruption, calling for “agency and moral management” constructed on transparency.

“I’m satisfied that corruption issues are resolved with an unbiased, neutral and speedy justice,” he mentioned in his speech.

“We’re going to work exhausting in order that politics stops being a temptation for organised crime.”

William Lai speaks to another guest, seen from behind, at the swearing-in ceremony.
Taiwan’s Vice President William Lai attends the inauguration of Santiago Peña in Asunción, Paraguay [Jorge Saenz/AP Photo]

A key ally for Taiwan

Peña’s ascent to the presidency additionally marked continuity for Paraguay’s international coverage. The landlocked nation is the one South American nation to take care of formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, regardless of strain from China.

A few of Peña’s rivals on the marketing campaign trial, together with Alegre, had promised to interrupt ties with Taiwan if elected, touting the financial benefits of allying with China as a substitute.

However Peña leaned into his pro-Taiwan platform, promising to strengthen existing relations.

The presence of Taiwan’s Vice President Lai within the inauguration viewers signalled Paraguay’s continued dedication to the island.

Although Taiwan is self-governing, China has by no means recognised its sovereignty and as a substitute considers the island its territory.

Denying this “one China” precept can come at a price. Beijing represents one of many world’s largest economies and largely refuses to do enterprise with any nation that recognises Taiwan’s authorities.

In consequence, Taiwan has solely 13 remaining diplomatic allies, largely small nations in Central America, the Caribbean and the Pacific area.

In Tuesday’s speech, Peña known as for Paraguay to construct alliances primarily based on “geo-strategic imaginative and prescient”.

“Our relationship with the Republic of China, Taiwan, is an instance of that and of Paraguay’s pleasant and cooperative spirit with nations for which now we have nice affection and with whom we’re not solely allies however brothers,” he mentioned.

Source link