Juan Carlos Wasmosy, 54, takes office Sunday as the first freely elected civilian president in Paraguay's 182 years of military-dominated national history. Wasmosy, a civil engineer of Hungarian descent and a member of the ruling Colorado Party, won elections May 9.
He will succeed Gen. Andres Rodriguez in the top job. Rodriguez came to power in 1989 by overthrowing President Alfredo Stroessner, also a general, who had seized power nearly 35 years earlier.
Three months after his coup, Rodriguez held and won presidential elections. The military is expected to continue exercising considerable power through its Colorado ties, solidified during the Stroessner regime.