Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was sworn in as Mexico’s next President on Saturday, after the anti-establishment leftist won a landslide election victory promising to “transform” a country fed up with crime, poverty and corruption.
The leader, widely known by his initials as “AMLO,” begins his six-year term with strong majorities in both houses of Congress — but has caused market jitters in Latin America’s second-largest economy with a style that some see as authoritarian and radical.
“I swear to defend the constitution of the United Mexican States and its laws, and faithfully and patriotically carry out the post of president of the republic that the people have entrusted to me,” Lopez Obrador said with his right hand raised before the Congress.
Lopez Obrador is vowing to lead a sweeping “transformation” after 89 years of government by the same two parties.
It was the biggest win for any president, and the first for a leftist, since Mexico transitioned to multi-party democracy in 2000.
Lopez Obrador travelled to his swearing-in ceremony in his small white Volkswagen Jetta, making his way through a sea of supporters.
After the ceremony, Lopez Obrador planned to go to Mexico City’s central square, the Zocalo, for a second ceremony unlike any presidential inauguration in Mexican history where he will receive an indigenous chieftain’s staff as shamans perform a purification ritual with incense and flowers.