At 11:01 a.m. Lima time, Ollanta Humala became president of Peru. In the process, he caused quite a controversy.
In front of the Congress, his new cabinet, and foreign heads of state, Ollanta Humala swore himself to rule in the spirit of the Constitution of 1979. Members of the opposition jeered, demanding that he swear-in only on the 1993 Constitution, ratified by Alberto Fujimori and currently the highest law of the land.
Congresswoman Martha Chavez of Fuerza 2011 led several members of Congress in interrupting Humala’s speech, while her ally Luz Salgado approached the dais and argued with Daniel Abugattás, President of the Congress.
Later, Humala’s second vice-president, Omar Chehade, told AmericaTV that swearing in on the 1979 Constitution was a “symbolic act” and that it had no legal implications.
After swearing-in and receiving the presidential sash from Abugattás, Humala gave an inaugural speech which stressed social inclusion. He promised a uniquely Peruvian economic model, balancing economic growth, stability and inclusion. He also rejected both interventionist and laissez-faire economics, saying that the role of the government was to spur investment and growth.
Humala also promised new social programs, greater investment in public health, and an immediate increase in the minimum wage.
After the speech, Humala left the Congress and moved into the Government Palace, where he will reside for the next five years.
By swearing in on the 1979 constitution, Ollanta Humala has caused controversy on his first day