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Paraguay's next president a rich newcomer to politics

By Daniela Desantis and Hilary Burke ASUNCION (Reuters) - President-elect Horacio Cartes is one of Paraguay's wealthiest men and, in a country infamous for corruption, some voters hope that means they will have a leader who is not tempted to steal. Brash and ambitious, Cartes had never voted before joining the centre-right Colorado Party four years ago. But he managed to convince his party and voters that his business experience would be enough to lead the South American country.

Cartes wins Paraguay presidential vote

Millionaire businessman Horacio Cartes of the opposition Colorado Party, a political neophyte, has won Paraguay's presidential election, electoral officials said Sunday. Cartes took 45.91 percent of the votes, compared to 36.84 percent for Efrain Alegre of the ruling Liberal Party, who has conceded defeat, Electoral Board chief Alberto Ramirez said. Voters were turning the page on a political crisis that saw leftist president Fernando Lugo impeached 10 months ago. The new president takes over from Lugo on August 15.

Cartes winning Paraguay presidential vote: exit polls

Millionaire businessman Horacio Cartes of the opposition Colorado Party was leading in Paraguay's presidential elections, exit polls showed Sunday. Pollsters First Analysis y Estudios gave Cartes 50.8 percent against 37 percent for ruling party senator Efrain Alegre, and 5.1 percent for former TV host Mario Ferreiro of the leftist Avanza Pais (Country Moving Forward) movement. ICA pollsters, in turn, gave Cartes 59.7 percent of the vote, Alegre 34.3 percent and Ferreiro 6.8 percent.

Horacio Cartes elected Paraguay leader

Millionaire businessman Horacio Cartes has won the race to become Paraguay's new president, electoral officials said Sunday. Cartes took 45.91 percent of the votes, compared to 36.84 percent for Efrain Alegre of the ruling Liberal Party, who has conceded defeat, Electoral Board chief Alberto Ramirez said. ad/mdl/oh

Alegre concedes defeat to Cartes in Paraguay's presidential vote

ASUNCION (Reuters) - Efrain Alegre of Paraguay's ruling Liberal Party conceded defeat to millionaire businessman Horacio Cartes of the powerful Colorado Party in a presidential election on Sunday. (Reporting by Hilary Burke; Editing by Stacey Joyce)

Cartes leads official presidential vote count in Paraguay

Asuncion (Reuters) - Horacio Cartes of Paraguay's Colorado Party was winning Sunday's presidential election by more than 9 percentage points, the electoral tribunal said, citing results from 35 percent of polling stations. Cartes was shown with 46.1 percent of votes while ruling party candidate Efrain Alegre had 36.9 percent. (Reporting by Mariel Cristaldo; Writing by Hilary Burke; Editing by Stacey Joyce)

Drugs spur violence in Paraguay-Brazil no-man's-land

Paraguay, which elects a new president Sunday, may be small and unassuming. But it is the world number-two marijuana producer and a transit point for cocaine headed to Brazil and Europe, so organized crime casts a long shadow. In this mostly rural, sparsely-populated nation of 6.5 million sandwiched between Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia, small planes wing in from hidden airfields in Bolivia and Colombia to touch down at sprawling ranches in Paraguay's northeast.

Two centre-right candidates face off in Paraguay vote

ASUNCION (Reuters) - Paraguayans will vote for a new president on Sunday. Two centre-right candidates are vying for the top job after the left's brief spell in power was cut short by the sudden impeachment of President Fernando Lugo last year. Both contenders in the poor, soy-and-beef-exporting country in the heart of South America hope to restore normal diplomatic and trade ties with neighbouring nations that protested against Lugo's ouster. Following are profiles of the two top candidates: POLITICAL NEWCOMER

Mud flies in Paraguay as elections near

The mud is flying as Paraguay girds for general elections this month, with the top two presidential candidates trading accusations of cozying up to drug traffickers and pilfering public funds. The April 21 vote was prompted by last year's impeachment and ouster of leftist president Fernando Lugo in the small, landlocked South American nation, which had been ruled for decades by the military or right-wing governments.

Paraguay election hopeful plans to issue debt for infrastructure

By Daniela Desantis and Mariel Cristaldo ASUNCION (Reuters) - Efrain Alegre, the ruling party candidate running for Paraguay's presidency, said he will issue more debt abroad to finance infrastructure spending and open up state companies to private capital if he wins the April 21 election. Alegre, 50, is a lawyer and long-time politician in the centre-right Liberal Party, which took over the presidency last year when Congress impeached leftist President Fernando Lugo.
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