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Paraguay to have its first woman president

AFP  |  Asuncion 

will have a woman for the first time in its history, at least temporarily, after outgoing stepped down ahead of schedule.

Vice Alicia Pucheta, 68, will complete Cartes's mandate after he resigned to become a

On August 15, fellow conservative Mario Abdo Benitez, elected in April 22 polls, will begin his five-year term as of one of Latin America's poorest countries.

The parliament is due to confirm Cartes's resignation and proclaim Pucheta as tomorrow.

Opposed to the legalization of abortion, Pucheta is from the right-wing Colorado Party, which has been in power in for decades.

Opposition said she does not see Pucheta's nomination as an advance for women in

"A woman who has shown her complete submission to those in power does not represent us," she said. "One day, a woman will be come to power as she should, through the ballot box."

But Lilian Samaniego, a from the Colorado Party, hailed the former lawyer's accession to the position as an example to "motivate Paraguayan women to continue to fight for real equality of opportunity with men."

has just eight women among its 45 senators, and 11 among the 80 members of the lower house.

Cartes's resignation had been expected since he was elected to the in the April elections. The new senators are to be sworn in on June 30.

Landlocked Paraguay -- sandwiched between Argentina, and -- enjoyed consistent economic growth during tobacco magnate Cartes's five years in power, but failed to shake off persistent poverty, corruption and drug trafficking. It remains a land of contrasts, still marked by the 1954-1989 dictatorship of

Despite an official campaign against endemic corruption, Paraguay remains 135th out of 180 countries on the 2017 corruption index of

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 29 2018. 09:20 IST