Chile's Gabriel Boric swears in female-majority cabinet
Boric, 36, is described to be heading a feminist, environmentalist government.
The presidential sash has been passed down from former Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, to Chile's youngest president in its history, Gabriel Boric, who was a former student activist.
“Before the Chilean people, I make my pledge,” Boric, 36, said.
After Chile's 2019 protests which addressed social and economic equality - protests which Boric himself supported - Santiago is seeking change.
The new Chilean administration will organize a referendum over a new Chilean constitution, which is being rewritten by the elected, constituent assembly which looks to replace the Magna Carta which was established by Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship regime.
“[Boric] is now heading a feminist, environmentalist government that’s going to try to bring about historic social change, led by a cabinet that is mostly full of young people who don’t have much experience in government, but that certainly have big plans for this country,” said Lucia Newman, an editor for Al Jazeera Latin America.
Pinochet toppled socialist president, Salvador Allende, who died in 1973 by suicide. Boric praised Allende often.
“He reminds me of Allende, but I hope it has a happier ending,” said Marigen Vargas, 62, describing Boric.“We want a more united, happier Chile.”
Boric comes at a time where Chile deals with a number of challenges: high inflation, economic setbacks that will put the leadership to the test.
An instructor at the University of Chile, Carlos Ruiz, said that ex-student Boric will have to deal with a rising ultra-conservative bloc that had favorability last year in the elections.“These are now the tasks lying ahead of Boric,” he said.
Environmentalists and indigenous community advocates have embraced the new president, and see it as an opportunity to bolster the groups' rights.
“It’s a sign that it’s going to be an inclusive government,” said Cecilia Flores, who is from the indigenous Aymara people in Chile. “It’s going to be a government that will make the social changes the people of Chile have been fighting for, especially Indigenous groups.”
Boric's cabinet, which is a female-majority cabinet, was sworn in on Friday. Delegations from the United States, Spain, Argentina, Peru and others attended the event.