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“I will respond before God, my family and the people”, said President Mario Abdo Benítez in his first speech.
Mario Abdo Benítez has been sworn in as the new President of Paraguay for the next five years.
His mandate was inaugurated on 15 August, in a ceremony outside the Palace of Government.
Two Ministers of the new cabinet are well-known evangelical leaders: the Minister of Public Constructions and Communications, Arnoldo Wiens; and the Minister of Education and Science, Eduardo Petta.
Wiens is a journalist, parliamentarian and former evangelical pastor with German ascent (Mennonit) who is popular for conducting tv shows such as “Century to Century” and “Speaking in Family” of Red Guaraní Television, as well as the radio programme “Getting Ready” of Radio Obedeira (both are Christian media).
Petta is a lawyer that has already been in charge of several public posts. He received the Paraguayan “Integrity Prize” in 2013, awarded by the International Organization of Businessmen of the Full Gospel.
REACTION OF LATIN AMERICAN EVANGELICALS
Pastor Eduardo Gómez, Vice President of the Evangelical Confederation of Colombia, expressed his congratulations to the new government. “Both Petta and Wiens are men of integrity, of trusted capacity and efficiency. They and the President Benítez can count on our regular prayers for the management task ahead in the next five years”.
Meanwhile, from Asunción (capital city of the country), Arnold Enns, President of the Ibero-American Confederation of Communicators and Christian Mass Media (COICOM) told Latin American news website Evangélico Digital that the “expectations are very high” for the new Public Constructions Minister, because “this area has been marred by corruption in the past”.
In the sphere of Education, the Ministry now led by Petta, “there is hard work to do to revert the historic debt with the schools: buildings in bad conditions, pupils learning outdoors under a tree, protests of teachers, and the statistic that shows that only 1% goes to university”.
BENÍTEZ COMMITS TO FIGHT CORRUPTION
The new President Benítez said he would fight corruption and impunity. He was sworn in with a Bible and referred to God in his first presidential speech: “We’re no longer in campaign, but we continue to have the same chief – God! To Him, to my family and to my people I will respond”.
Among the international guests at the inauguration were the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales; the President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, and the Heads of State of Argentina, Mauricio Macri; Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez; Brasil, Michel Temer; Colombia, Iván Duque; and Guatemala, Jimmy Morales.