Conservative Mario Abdo Benitez wins Paraguay presidential poll: Reports

Mario Abdo Benitez, who represents Paraguay`s long-dominant Colorado conservatives, won Sunday`s presidential poll, landing the top job in one of Latin America`s poorest countries, election officials said.

Conservative Mario Abdo Benitez wins Paraguay presidential poll: Reports
Paraguayan presidential candidate Mario Abdo Benitez meets with media in Asuncion (Reuters photo)

Mario Abdo Benitez, who represents Paraguay`s long-dominant Colorado conservatives, won Sunday`s presidential poll, landing the top job in one of Latin America`s poorest countries, election officials said.
The US-educated son of a senior aide to the country`s late dictator, Abdo Benitez won 46.49 percent of the vote, with his centrist opponent Efrain Alegre taking 42.72 percent in a race that was far closer than expected.
"The president of the republic is Mario Abdo Benitez," said election chief Jaime Bestard, declaring him winner after 96 percent of the votes were counted. 
Polls had given the 46-year-old a lead of up to 20 percentage points over Alegre, a 55-year-old former public works minister representing the center-left GANAR coalition.

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