Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro sworn in as president

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brazil-president

brazil-presidentRight-wing nationalist Jair Bolsonaro – dubbed “Trump of the Tropics” – has been sworn in as president of Brazil.

The former army captain – whose rise to prominence has been marked by divisive rhetoric and derogatory remarks about women, gay people and ethnic minorities – was inaugurated in the capital Brasilia on New Year’s Day.

He has promised a crackdown on corruption, drugs and violent crime, as well as close alignment with the US and business-friendly economic policies.

US President Donald Trump sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the ceremony on Tuesday, which was also attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu tweeted upon his arrival in Brasilia to congratulate his “friend” Bolsonaro, who has said he plans to move the Brazilian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The 63-year-old was greeted by crowds of supporters draped in Brazilian flags as he made his way to the presidential palace in an open-top Rolls-Royce, waving to the crowds alongside wife Michelle.

He received huge backing during the election campaign last year from conservative sectors of Brazil, including Christian evangelical churches, despite a string of controversial comments over the years.