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Mexico's Pena Nieto sworn in as president amid protests

Published on Dec 2, 2012 6:08 AM
Mexico's new President Enrique Pena Nieto sings the national anthem after taking oath in congress in Mexico City Dec 1, 2012. Enrique Pena Nieto took over as Mexican president on Saturday, offering a shot at redemption for the party that shaped modern Mexico if he can bring an end to years of violence and economic underperformance. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - Mexico's new President Enrique Pena Nieto pledged on Saturday to reduce the poverty and violence plaguing his country after a rowdy swearing-in ceremony marked by protests inside and outside Congress.

Mr Pena Nieto's inauguration brought back the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ruled Mexico with an authoritarian hand for 71 years until it lost its first election in 2000.

With a telegenic smile and TV star wife, the 46-year-old former Mexico state governor has projected an image of a changed PRI that has left its darkest days behind.

"Democracy has cemented itself and become part of our culture," Mr Pena Nieto said in a speech at the national palace in front of national and foreign dignitaries, including US Vice-President Joe Biden.

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