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THE WEEK AHEAD

LA PAZ : New President

August 03, 1993

Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, a U.S.-educated mining magnate and former planning minister, is to take office Friday as president of Bolivia, South America's poorest country. Sanchez de Lozada, 63, finished first in popular elections June 6 with about one-third of the votes.

Under Bolivia's constitution, if no candidate wins an absolute majority at the polls, the Congress chooses the president from among the top three finishers. But second-placer Hugo Banzer, a retired general who was Bolivia's military president for seven years in the 1970s, withdrew, clinching Sanchez de Lozada's claim.

He will succeed President Jaime Paz Zamora. In 1989, Sanchez de Lozada also finished first in popular elections but was denied the presidency by an alliance in the Congress between Paz Zamora's and Banzer's supporters.

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