The Congress of Guatemala swore in Alejandro Maldonado as caretaker president on Thursday afternoon, after President Otto Perez Molina resigned earlier the same day.
Maldonado was appointed vice president after Roxana Baldetti – his predecessor – was found guilty of corruption and consequently jailed.
The new president will now have to name three vice presidential candidates, who would then be submitted to Congress which will vote for their preferred candidate.
As Maldonado was being sworn in, the case against former President Otto Perez Molina began, where the Public Prosecutor played tapes which involve different high-ranking officials speaking of the La Linea fraud scheme, involving Perez Molina.
In the tapes, the former president was referred to in coded name as “the number one” and former Vice President Roxana Baldetti as “the number two.”
During his speech, Maldonado said he considered his appointment as a chance to recover and improve Guatemalan democracy.
“We will recover our democracy with substantive values,” he added.
He further committed to change the cabinet left by Perez Molina in what he believes is interpreting the will of the Guatemalan people.
“I think I am interpreting the signs of this time, and this requires the establishment of a new government. I will request all of the ministers and high officials to dispose of their posts,” announced Maldonado during his speech.
After announcing the measure, he called upon the different social groups in the country to help him come up with the new cabinet members.
“We invite every social group to make their proposals (for the new government),” he added.
Maldonado, the 49th president in Guatemala's history, will face a gloomy scenario with a troubling economy, as he himself admitted during his intervention.
“The current condition of the State finances … is worrying,” he said.
The newly designated president will head the country until January 2016, when the winner of Sunday's elections will be swore in.
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