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New president takes over in Paraguay

Paraguay's new President Mario Abdo Benitez rides in an open top car with his wife Silvana Lopez, after his inauguration ceremony at "Lopez Palace" in...
Paraguay's new President Mario Abdo Benitez, flanked by his wife Silvana Lopez, acknowledges the crowd after taking the oath of office at "Lopez Palac...
Paraguay's new President Mario Abdo Benitez rides in an open top car with his wife Silvana Lopez, after his inauguration ceremony at "Lopez Palace" in...
Paraguay's former President Horacio Cartes arrives in Congress for the ceremony to return the symbols of power, the sash and the baton, in Asuncion, P...
Paraguay's new President Mario Abdo Benitez makes his speech during his inauguration ceremony at "Lopez Palace" in Asuncion, Paraguay, Wednesday, Aug....

Paraguay's new President Mario Abdo Benitez rides in an open top car with his wife Silvana Lopez, after his inauguration ceremony at "Lopez Palace" in...

Paraguay's new President Mario Abdo Benitez, flanked by his wife Silvana Lopez, acknowledges the crowd after taking the oath of office at "Lopez Palac...

Paraguay's new President Mario Abdo Benitez rides in an open top car with his wife Silvana Lopez, after his inauguration ceremony at "Lopez Palace" in...

Paraguay's former President Horacio Cartes arrives in Congress for the ceremony to return the symbols of power, the sash and the baton, in Asuncion, P...

Paraguay's new President Mario Abdo Benitez makes his speech during his inauguration ceremony at "Lopez Palace" in Asuncion, Paraguay, Wednesday, Aug....

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) — Mario Abdo Benitez has taken over as Paraguay's new president, replacing a seemingly disgruntled Horacio Cartes, who left the inauguration ceremony before it finished.

Abdo Benitez urged Paraguay to "look toward the future and not remain stuck in the past" as he took the oath of office to start a five-year term on Wednesday.

The 46-year-old marketing expert campaigned to continue Cartes' business-friendly policies and played down fears of a return to the heavy-handed past of dictator Alfredo Stroessner. Abdo's father was Stroessner's private secretary.

While they belong to the same Colorado Party, Cartes has been unhappy that Abdo failed to back his effort to take an elected seat in the Senate. That would have given Cartes greater influence — and possibly immunity from any future efforts to prosecute him.