New president pledges to cure 'sick child' El Salvador
El Salvador's new president, Nayib Bukele, took office on Saturday pledging to cure the Central American country that he described as a “sick child” following years of violence and migration that has strained relations with the United States.
The 37-year-old former mayor of San Salvador, who won more votes than all other candidates in the February presidential election, brought an end to a two-party system that has held sway over the country for three decades.
“Our country is like a sick child, now it's up to all of us to take care of it,” Bukele told the crowd. “We have to suffer a little now, we have to have a little pain, assume our responsibility and all as brothers to bring forward that child.”
Accompanied by his pregnant wife Gabriela Rodriguez, Bukele vowed to make bitter decisions for the impoverished and violence-plagued Central American country during his five-year term. He did not give details.
Bukele also called for national unity and a collective effort to move the country forward.
"We are not going to be able to get ahead if we do not unite," Bukele said, urging Salvadorans to assume their responsibility in promoting progress.
The candidate of the Great Alliance for National Unity (GANA) won February 3 elections with around 53 percent of the vote, defeating the two leading parties between which the power alternated for almost three decades -- the left-leaning Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) and conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena).
(Cover: New Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele speaks after receiving the presidential sash during a swearing-in ceremony in San Salvador, El Salvador, June 1, 2019. /Reuters Photo)