The newly elected president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, has taken the oath of office, promising to raise the minimum wage and narrow the widened gulf between the rich and poor in the country.
“The road will undoubtedly be long and difficult,” said the president, as he addressed his supporters in capital Santiago.
The 36-year-old leader is a by-product of Chile’s decade-long protest over economic inequality, which analysts argue is an “unacceptable underbelly” of the free market economy.
Boric would not implement socialistic measures to bring about equality. He is going to name former Central Bank President Mario Marcel, as finance minister, instructing him to maintain fiscal responsibility.
During the election campaign, Boric promised to increase pensions and make education and healthcare affordable to all. The stock market is already wary of his tenure because he has also vowed to impose a greater tax on the wealthy to help finance his social welfare programs.
Analysts say Boric may not be able to fulfill his promises. That is because his leftist coalition has barely 37 of the 155 seats in congress.
The new leader takes over at a time the Andean country is drafting a new constitution to replace it with the one adopted by the military dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet.