By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Vowing to bring Brazil together as a nation, Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as the country’s 38th President on Tuesday, January 1st. In his first speech as President of the Republic, Bolsonaro pledged to restore traditional family values, respect all religions and govern for all Brazilians.
“Let’s unite the people, value the family, respect the religions and our Judeo-Christian tradition, fighting the gender ideology, rescuing our values. Brazil will become a country free of ideological ties,” said Bolsonaro during his speech.
The 63-year-old far-right leader said that his administration would construct a society with ‘no discrimination and no division’.
Bolsonaro also announced that he will make structural reforms and create a ‘virtuous circle of confidence’ in the economy.
“Our economy will be based on confidence, national interest, free market and efficiency. The government will not spend more than it earns and rules, contracts and properties will be respected”, he told the audience.
The new president reiterated campaign promises such as the easing of gun control laws and the fight against corruption.
According to government officials a crowd of 115,000 people lined the streets to what the presidential procession from Brasilia’s Cathedral to the Congressional building. Bolsonaro, along with his wife, Michelle, rode in a convertible Rolls Royce during the procession.
Ten heads of state and government participated in the inauguration as well as twelve foreign ministers, eighteen special envoys and three directors of international organizations.
In one of the most polemic elections Brazil has ever faced, Jair Bolsonaro won the presidency in October by beating his rival, left-wing candidate from the PT (Workers Party), Fernando Haddad.