On Monday, the United States congratulated Santiago Peña on his election as president of Paraguay and called on him to work to combat corruption, a file of great concern to the United States and the opposition candidate.
Peña’s Sunday victory extends the term of his conservative party, “Colorado”, and constitutes an acknowledgment of the legacy of his mentor, former President Horacio Cartes, who was recently sanctioned by the United States for graft.
“We congratulate President-elect Santiago Peña on his election victory,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.
“We look forward to working with President-elect Peña and his government to advance common interests such as fighting corruption and impunity, and advancing security and economic growth for the benefit of our two countries,” he added.
The Colorado Party has ruled Paraguay almost continuously since 1947, despite the transformation of the regime from dictatorship to democracy in 1989.
While corruption worries the United States, Peña’s victory appears to have allayed fears that Paraguay will cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
Paraguay is one of only 13 countries in the world and the only one in South America to officially recognize Taiwan, and the latter congratulated Peña on his election.