Peru's new president outlines ambitious vision in inauguration speech

Updated: 2016-07-29 10:00


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Peru's new president outlines ambitious vision in inauguration speech

Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski plays the flute during the ministers swearing in ceremony at the Government Palace in Lima, Peru, July 28, 2016.[Photo/Agencies]

LIMA - Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was sworn in as the president of Peru on Thursday, promising a social revolution and to build a modern, safe country, free of discrimination.

The new president, who will govern until 2021, was sworn in during a ceremony in Parliament from former president Ollanta Humala.

"I want a social revolution for my country, so that in five years, Peru can be a fairer, more equal and more united country, which will make it a more modern country," said Kuczynski in his over 40-minute inaugural address to the nation.

He outlined his government's main objectives for his mandate, including "creating access to opportunities...through a magnificent education system and a healthcare system focused on people's needs."

Kuczynski added that his vision of a modern Peru also meant a fair judicial system, as well as having security conditions to ensure peace on the streets.

Crime has been a particular concern for Peruvians during this election cycle as insecurity has been on the rise. Furthermore, the country has been plagued for years by "extortion", meaning almost daily acts of petty corruption, including police asking for money to simply do their jobs.

Acknowledging that Peru, despite a healthy economy, still faces broad inequality, Kuczynski vowed to find a way to raise the salaries of the 7 million poorest Peruvians.

According to Kuczynski, his government would focus on "how to put money in the pockets of Peruvians, and raise their access to essential services...which are extremely costly for the poor."

Among other related objectives, he promised to close gaps in society's access to healthcare and social security.

While Peru is seen as a solid bet among foreign investors, its economy has stagnated in recent years. Kuczynski, an experienced banker and economist, will need to find ways to kickstart it.

Kuczynski also said his administration would come down hard on acts of corruption, as he feels a modern country must also be an honest country.

"To succeed in this, we need a president totally committed to the fight against corruption. I will not allow my officials and closest collaborators to fall to the indignity of corruption," he pointed out.

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