Apart from being a comedian, Jimmy Morales can now add "President" to his curriculum vitae.
On Thursday, Guatemala welcomed new, albeit neophyte, president Jimmy Morales. While admittedly, he doesn't have experience in government, Morales committed to fight corruption in his inaugural speech.
Previously ruled by governing figures that are accused of corruption, Guatemala is also plagued with violent criminal gangs and prevailing poverty, according to a report by NBC News.
Former Guatemala President Otto Perez Molina and his partner vice president were ousted - and then prosecuted - from office after massive anti-corruption demonstrations in the country. Morales was then elected in October following the political scandal. According to NBC News, his election was a "punishment vote" from the Guatemalan voting population who "wanted a fresh break."
Accompanied by his wife, Morales was reported to be dressed in a dark suit as he went up the stage to be recognized. Apart from receiving a hug from his mother, he was also applauded by friends and party members from the audience.
Morales addressed many things in his speech but particularly commended the anti-corruption movement adding that Guatemala was going through a "renaissance," as per BBC.
More than corruption, he also committed to alloting money for health and education. "We want quality education for everyone, which prepares our children for a modern technical world," Morales said.
Before he was sworn in to office on Thursday, United States Vice President Joe Biden met with Morales as well as the leaders of El Salvador and Honduras. Biden praised Morales for his platform to fight corruption in the country -- noting that there were thousands of Guatemalans went to the streets to protest and demand change paving way for Morales' election to the office. Notably, it was the first time in 30 years that a high-ranking American official attended a Guatemalan presidential inauguration.
NBC News also notes that Morales appealed to Biden during his speech "to add Guatemala to the list of countries granted temporary protected status" - meaning, grant qualified citizens in the U.S. "a degree of temporary protection from deportation and allows them to work and travel."
"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," Edgar Gutierrez, an analyst at San Carlos University in Guatemala, commented.
Morales' critics, however, notes how the president gave no specifics on how he was going to address corruption in the country as well as Guatemala's alarming rates of violence, poverty and social inequality.