Home From The Sidelines Santiago Peña, the New President of Paraguay

Santiago Peña, the New President of Paraguay

After winning the April election, Santiago Peña was inaugurated as president of Paraguay on Tuesday, August 15. He promised to “build alliances” and exercise “firm and ethical leadership” for the following five years.

In a solemn ceremony, Peña took the presidential oath in front of Asuncion’s government palace in the presence of dignitaries from South America, the king of Spain, and William Lai, the vice president of Taiwan. In his inauguration speech, the 44-year-old economist and former finance minister Peña paid homage to his party’s leader, Horacio Cartes. It was a decisive win in the April elections for Peña against a centre-left opposition challenger. This win helped the Colorado Party, the dominant political force for the last three-quarters of a century, clinch a majority in both chambers of Congress.

In his inaugural address, Peña urged his supporters, sceptics, and the leaders of the opposition to help in “building consensus for the common good.” He expressed gratitude to his party, its leader, and former president Horacio Cartes for their support despite their “differences.”

During his inaugural address, the president declared, “We will build alliances and cooperation with a geostrategic vision,” adding that the relationship of Paraguay with Taiwan “is an example of this and of Paraguay’s friendly and cooperative spirit with nations.” He further said that they are now putting that political calling to work for all Paraguayans. They want to be a party that serves the whole country.

Peña succeeded Mario Abdo Benitez after winning convincingly in the April election. Both are members of the conservative Colorado Party, which has controlled politics in Paraguay for the last three-quarters of a century.

To aid in the recovery of the farm-based economy following the pandemic, “Santi,” as he is called, has promised business-friendly policies centred on job creation, cheap taxes, and luring international investment. Peña promised to oversee “the resurgence of a giant” in Paraguay through changes to the healthcare system and more law enforcement on the nation’s streets. In his speech, Peña pledged to strive against state corruption, fight against poverty, which affects about a quarter of Paraguayans, and enhance security and education. Peña spoke about the necessity for “firm and ethical leadership” based on transparency in order to tackle corruption.

 In his speech, he stated that he was convinced that corruption problems can be resolved with independent, impartial, and swift justice. He added that they will put forth a lot of effort to ensure that organised crime is no longer attracted to politics. In order to strengthen the South American nation’s agriculture-based economy, which is based primarily on the production of cattle and soybeans, Peña also plans to add 500,000 new jobs in five years. Peña made a commitment to work towards establishing an “inclusive, fair, and unified society, where every citizen has the possibility to prosper.”