Updated 08:39 PM EDT, Sat, Sep 26, 2020

Guatemala Inaugurates Former Comedian as its New President Jimmy Morales

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Jimmy Morales has been sworn in as Guatemala's new president on Thursday, Jan. 14.

The former comedian's administration is facing doubts over how the Central American country will be led, Yahoo! News reported. Guatemala is currently weighed down with widespread poverty, extensive corruption, and violent criminal groups, issues that have greatly affected former President Otto Pérez Molina.

"Thanks to those that fought against corruption and the traditional way of doing politics in our country ... to those that defended the elections, to those that believed, thanks to you the world saw the true face of Guatemala," Morales said during the ceremony, as reported by teleSUR. "There are no magic solutions, but a new Guatemala is possible. Things can be better... We will not tolerate corruption and theft. We will be drastic and severe."

The inauguration ceremony happened in the Miguel Angel Asturias and was attended by other Latin American presidents, including Ecuador's Rafael Correa, Honduras' Orlando Hernández, Dominican Republic' Danilo Medina Sanchez, and Costa Rica's Luis Guillermo Solís, teleSUR listed.

United States Vice President Joe Biden had a meeting with Morales and the heads of El Salvador and Honduras before his swearing in on Thursday, Yahoo! News noted. Aside from praising Morales for his commitment to combat corruption, Biden also took note of the thousands of Guatemalans who protested on the streets to demand change and chose Morales to be the next president.

Morales petitioned Biden to include Guatemala to the list of countries that have been given temporary protected status, which gives its eligible citizens in the U.S. a degree of temporary protection from deportation and permits them to work and travel, according to Yahoo! News.

Morales hasn't yet announced his Cabinet members, and his political process was already impeded when prosecutors formally inquired for the equivalent of impeachment proceedings against an allied lawmaker, who is suspected of violating human rights back in Guatemala's civil war from 1960-1996, the news outlet added.

"He is a president who takes office without a party, without well-qualified people he trusts and with a state apparatus that's really in financial and institutional ruin," said Edgar Gutierrez, an analyst at San Carlos University in Guatemala, as quoted in Yahoo! News' report.

In his final report, outgoing acting president, Alejandro Maldonado, urged his successor to maintain the battle against violence in the country. Maldonado said that despite the lowered statistics on criminal violence, the percentages "continue to be ominous," and Guatemala should commit to the continued efforts in fighting crime and rehabilitating wrongdoers, teleSUR reported.

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