Businessman, banker and centre-right conservative politician Guillermo Lasso has been sworn in as Ecuador's new President Monday for the next four years, in a ceremony held at the National Assembly in Quito.
Change begins, welcome to the Ecuador of the encountering, the new President tweeted. “The will of the government will be the will of the people,” he added.
The inauguration ceremony was chaired by National Assembly Speaker Guadalupe Llori of the Pachakutik indigenous party. Alfredo Borrero Vega was also sworn in as vice president.
Among the heads of state who attended the ceremony were King Felipe VI of Spain, the Presidents of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro; of Haiti, Jovenel Moise and of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader.
Other countries were represented by their foreign ministers, such as Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Uruguay, Guatemala, Bolivia, and Argentina.
Lasso won a presidential runoff to replace Lenín Moreno, who had been catapulted towards the presidency by former socialist ruler Rafael Correa (2007-2017) and later became his opponent.
Lasso announced the end of the era of caudillos, of political persecution and authoritarianism in a clear reference to Correa's style. Our rulers have failed us, they betrayed our founding principles, said Lasso, who also promised a fight to recover the democratic soul of the country.
“The answer is very simple: what happened was democracy itself; After more than 10 years of authoritarianism, of aggressions, of attempts to establish a perpetual regime, Ecuadorians assimilate the greatest democratic lesson: that there is no democracy without participation,” said Lasso.
We will govern for everyone; this means not governing in favour of a privileged sector, but not against anyone, political persecution in Ecuador is over, he went on.
Lasso became the first liberal president of Ecuador in the last two decades after a period of institutional instability between 1997 and 2007, in which Ecuador had seven presidents -three of them overthrown in social unrest-, and the 10-year government by Correa.
In his third attempt at the presidency, Lasso beat Correa's dauphin 36-year-old economist Andrés Arauz.
The United States delegation was led by Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who upon her arrival in Quito stated that free elections such as those held in Ecuador constitute an example for democracy in the region.
Presidents Iván Duque of Colombia, Sebastián Piñera of Chile Uruguay's Luis Lacalle Pou had annonced their presence but had to cancel their trips at the last minute.
Other right-wing politicians who did attend the inauguration were former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, former Colombian Presidents Álvaro Uribe and Andrés Pastrana and Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López.