QUITO, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Lenin Moreno was sworn in on Wednesday as president of Ecuador for the 2017-2021 term, promising to promote national dialogue and to build on the successes seen during the decade in power of his predecessor, Rafael Correa.
"To those who voted for us, to those who voted for other candidates and those who voted blank, all of you strengthened democracy, all of you have my respect...we will all take part in an...enriching national dialogue," said Moreno in his inauguration address.
Moreno, 64, who is wheelchair-bound, was sworn in as president in a ceremony at the National Assembly.
"From today, I am the president for everyone, I owe this to everyone, I respect everyone," said Moreno in a conciliatory and open speech. He admitted that the Ecuador of today was very different from that in the past and that there was a lot to do.
According to Moreno, over the 10 years of Correa's government, the Ecuadorian people recovered their self-esteem. However, the new leader also hinted that he will not follow Correa's confrontational style, preferring a lower profile.
The new president also used his speech to make it clear what his first policies would be, beginning with austerity.
"I will sign an executive order for austerity in the government. Every expenditure and investment will pass through an objective filter of our needs," announced Moreno.
He also said that the U.S. dollar would remain Ecuador's legal currency and would not create a parallel currency. Ecuador adopted the U.S. dollar in 2000, after a severe financial crisis in 1999.
Moreno also revealed his "Toda una vida" (An entire life) plan, which will seek to help the needs of the poorer and more vulnerable sectors of society.
He vowed to reduce child malnutrition, cut poverty, and provide housing for those living in extreme poverty.
On the international stage, Moreno promised to improve Ecuador's insertion with the world.
"We will strengthen regional integration, we will help initiatives being driven in CAN (Community of Andean Nations), Unasur (Union of South American Nations) and CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States)," he said, adding that he would continue to support the peace talks between the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) taking place in Quito.
"We will encourage South-South cooperation and push for fair taxation to transform the relationship between states and multinational companies," he also noted.
After the handover, a visibly emotional Correa was greeted by a band singing "Aunque te vas, nunca te voy a olvidar" (You may go, but we will never forget you), a song written in honor of his legacy.
Correa steps down with a 62 percent approval rating. He did not speak at the ceremony but his supporters in parliament shouted "Correa, my friend, the people are with you."