Uruguay has sworn in Tabare Vazquez as President replacing one leftist leader with another.
As the outgoing but ever popular Jose Mujica presented him with the presidential sash, Vazquez was returned to the post he previously held from 2005 to 2010.
Both men have have filled their respective terms in office with a mix of welfare programmes and pro-business policies after two decades of conservative rule that followed a military dictatorship.
Many Uruguayans, like Sandra Obaldia, believe they have a lot to be grateful for:
“They (the former government – before Pepe Mujica) left us with a destroyed country, a country torn into pieces, without jobs, with people suffering from hunger, and in 15 years, no, 10 years, this government did more than any other government. Pepe (Mujica) and Tabare are great.”
Seventy-four year-old Vazquez is the son of a union leader and ended his first term with approval ratings of 70 percent. Like Mujica now, he was constitutionally barred from holding a second consecutive term.
Mujica, who was famous for giving away most of his pay and refusing to live in the presidential palace, is expected to retire from politics, after handing over the leftist baton.