GUATEMALA CITY – Former Constitutional Court judge Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre was sworn in on Thursday as Guatemala’s new vice president, replacing Roxana Baldetti, who stepped down last week amid allegations of corruption.
With his right hand raised, the new vice president vowed to perform the duties of the office “with patriotism” and to show “fidelity” to both the people and the law.
Maldonado, 79, was elected Thursday by Congress from among nominees proposed by President Otto Perez Molina.
After Maldonado took the oath of office, Congress speaker Luis Armando Rabbe congratulated the new vice president and invited him to sign the legislature’s book of honor.
As he left the floor of Congress, Maldonado told reporters he was “happy and proud” to be able to serve Guatemala and that his actions will be guided by concern for the most vulnerable sectors of society.
He said the battle against corruption will be one of his priorities.
Asked about a recent wave of political demonstrations across the country, Maldonado said that Guatemalans have the “right to protest and to be heard.”
The new vice president, who was elected by a vote of 115-14, will serve until Jan. 14, 2016, the end of Baldetti’s four-year term.