Ecuador’s Correa sworn to second term

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QUITO: Ecuador’s hugely popular leftist president, Rafael Correa, was sworn in to a second term Friday, with energy reform and expanded overseas trade topping his agenda.

Correa, 50, took the oath of office at a ceremony held before the federal legislature attended by various foreign leaders and dignitaries, including Haitian President Michel Martelly, Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

For the first time, a woman, the legislature’s speaker Gabriela Rivadeneira, administered the oath of office, as she proclaimed that Correa “was legally in possession of the powers of the presidency of the Republic of Ecuador.”

The United States and Belgian-educated economist—an outspoken populist in the mold of his late mentor Hugo Chavez of Venezuela—has brought stability to a country that went through eight presidents, three of whom were ousted, in the decade before he was first elected in 2006.

Correa won a landslide victory in February’s vote, and shortly thereafter won a rare majority in Congress, giving him a strong hand to implement reforms in sectors such as energy, agriculture, mining, justice and the media. He also plans heavy spending on infrastructure and socially-oriented investment.

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