QUITO: Lenin Moreno was sworn in as president of Ecuador on Wednesday following a tight race that the disabled former vice president won on promises of maintaining the social programs of his leftist predecessor Rafael Correa.
The 64-year-old Moreno, a socialist, last month won a runoff vote in the oil-exporting country, bucking a shift to the right in South America as leftist governments struggle to maintain support.
Guillermo Lasso, a former banker, called for a recount after losing the runoff election. The electoral council upheld Moreno's 2.3 percent margin of victory.
Moreno, one of the world's few paraplegic heads of state, has said he will continue anti-poverty programs. But he has promised a more conciliatory style and more open dialogue with adversaries in contrast to Correa's often combative manner.
During his four-year term, Moreno faces a challenging panorama of a faltering dollarized economy with a heavy debt burden and low oil prices