• By The Financial District

Ex-Student Protest Leader Takes Over As Chile's Youngest President

Left-leaning former student leader Gabriel Boric vowed to improve the lives of all Chileans and attack deep inequality that has sparked massive protests, hours after being inaugurated Friday as the youngest president in the country’s history, Eva Vergara reported for the Associated Press (AP).

Photo Insert: Gabriel Boric (center), the youngest President in Chile's history, posing with supporters during his campaign.

At 36, Boric was only 4 years old when democracy returned to the South American nation following a 17-year military dictatorship that both bloodied and set the groundwork for modern Chile.

Boric has vowed that his young, inclusive government will attack poverty and inequality that he said are the unacceptable underbelly of a free market model imposed decades ago by Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who ruled from 1973 to 1990.

“We come to give ourselves body and soul to making life better in our country,” he said in a speech from a balcony of the government building, calling for unity to make Chile “a dignified and just country.” He added: “The road will undoubtedly be long and difficult.”

His four-year term begins at a moment when a constituent assembly is drawing up a new constitution for the country to replace one adopted under Pinochet. The Socialist Party leader of the Senate, Älvaro Elizalde, draped the presidential sash over Boric’s shoulders during the ceremony in the legislative chambers in the port city of Valparaiso.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Soon afterward, Boric swore in the leader of what he has called a “feminist” cabinet — which includes 14 women and 10 men. Ostentatiously informal, the bearded young leader declined to wear a tie for the inauguration.

Boric won 56% of the vote in a December runoff against conservative José Antonio Kast.

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