Chilean president Gabriel Boric on Friday evening stepped out to the balcony of Government House (La Moneda) to address the thousands of people cheering him in the ample plaza. It was his first speech as president to the people, and he made a strong call to unity, acknowledging that his job in the coming four years “would not be easy”.
A couple of hours before Boric had arrived by helicopter from Viña del Mar, close to Valparaíso where the Chilean congress is located, and the president was inaugurated and handed the presidential sash by outgoing leader Sebastián Piñera.
This is the first time I'm addressing you as president...Thank you for granting me that honor...the emotion I have felt walking through Government House is enormous and I need to share it with you who are an active part of this process...we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you and your militancy, said Boric.
Let me begin by telling your I will deliver the best of me so I can be at the level you have delivered, he added. I've seen your faces throughout Chile, elders whose pensions are insufficient, those wanting to set up a small business, the indebted students, the farmers short of water, the women looking after their children with autism...families with next of kin prostrated, families who are still looking for their loved ones disappeared, which we will not cease to look for..., but we are not starting from zero, pointed out the president.
Chile has a long history and today we have been immersed in that history, a history which exceeds all we can imagine, but we will make our best.
Boric then addressed duties ahead beginning today, the dreams of so many of us..., my dream is that when our mandate is over, we can look at our children, brothers, parents, neighbors, grandparents, and feel that we have a country that cares for us, and protects us. But we will have demanding and complex times ahead, achieving our goals won't be easy, we will face internal and external crisis, and we will commit mistakes, which we will have to undo humbly.
Let me tell you that as President of Chile, and our teams, we will face the problems, but we are going to talk them over with you, and tell you of our decisions.
We must work together with our brotherly countries in Latin America, so we can all move forward, and for this we will need of everyone, government and opposition.
Finally the president referred to the current constitutional process which is been drafted by an elected convention. We are going to decisively support the workings of the Convention. We need a constitution that unites us, that makes us feel we belong and that she belongs to us. I am inviting all of us to listen in good faith, no caricatures, so that when the plebiscite vote, it will a point of convergence, a common ground, with no divisions.
Today I humbly take office before you, knowing of the difficulties ahead, the mandate you have granted me...and I know that in four years time the people of Chile will judge us for our achievements and not for our words, concluded the inaugurated president.