GUATEMALA CITY: Jimmy Morales, a former TV comic elected Guatemala’s new president on a wave of public revulsion against widespread graft, took office Thursday in a ceremony attended by leaders from the Americas.
Invitees to the swearing-in included US Vice President Joe Biden, and the presidents of Mexico, Ecuador and most Central American nations. Spain’s former king Juan Carlos also attended.
“Not tolerating corruption or theft, that is something we can do and what we are going to do from the first day,” Morales, 46, said as he accepted the presidential sash.
Morales was previously best known for a television role as a country bumpkin who nearly becomes president.
Elections on October 25 elevated him to the office of head of state for real, by a landslide, despite having no political experience beyond an unsuccessful run for municipal office in 2011.
His victory was attributed to widespread public disgust with corruption, especially after his elected predecessor, Otto Perez, was felled by a major graft scandal.