Bolsonaro sworn in as president, calls for rebuilding Brazil

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Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro (L) pointing at the presidential sash after receiving it from outgoing President Michel Temer (R) in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, on Jan. 1, 2019. Xinhua

BRASILIA (Xinhua) – Army captain-turned-politician Jair Bolsonaro has been sworn in as Brazil’s president amid heightened security.

Taking his oath of office at a ceremony held at the National Congress building here, Mr Bolsonaro, 63, a member of the conservative Social Liberal Party, pledged “to maintain, defend and respect the Constitution, abide by the laws, promote the general well-being of the people, sustain the unity, integrity and independence of Brazil.”

The president then swore in his cabinet, which represents the sectors that form the base of his support: the military, evangelical church, agricultural producers and financial market.

Elected in an October runoff with 55 percent of the votes, Mr Bolsonaro campaigned on a platform to fight crime and boost security, increase employment and combat corruption.

In his inaugural speech, Mr Bolsonaro called for unity, and a pact between society and the three different branches of government “to rebuild our country.”

A conservative former military man, Mr Bolsonaro reiterated his campaign pledges to pursue fiscal responsibility and economic growth, and promote Judeo-Christian values.

“We will carry out structural reforms that will be essential for the financial health and sustainability of public accounts. We need to create a virtuous cycle and open our markets to international trade,” said Mr Bolsonaro, as he addressed lawmakers at the National Congress.

“We have a unique opportunity to rebuild our country and revive the hopes of our compatriots,” Mr Bolsonaro added.

He also pledged “to protect and reinvigorate Brazilian democracy,” and seek a society “without discrimination or division.”

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