Evo Morales sworn in as Bolivian President | india | Hindustan Times
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Evo Morales sworn in as Bolivian President

Evo Morales was sworn in on Sunday as the first indigenous leader of Bolivia, which he has vowed to shake up with his left wing policies.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2006 10:20 IST

Evo Morales was sworn in on Sunday as the first indigenous leader of Bolivia, South America's poorest nation, which he has vowed to shake up with his left wing policies.

Wearing a dark suit, but sticking to his refusal to wear a tie, the former leader of poor coca leaf growers fought back tears as he took an oath of office in front of 11 other presidents and government leaders from Latin America and Europe, and Bolivian politicians.

Morales has said he will increase state control of valuable natural resources in a bid to ease the huge poverty divide in the country.

But the United States is concerned over Morales' promise to end restrictions on production of coca leaf— the core ingredient for cocaine. The US government has spent millions of dollars trying to eradicate coca.

Many governments are also anxious to see what impact his policies have in a region where a leftist governments have increasing power.

Among those present at the ceremony were Venezuela's socialist president Hugo Chavez, another virulent critic of the United States, and Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a former union leader.