Cristina Fernandez sworn in as Argentina's president
[ 2007-12-11 15:27 ]
Argentina's first lady Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has been sworn in as the country's first elected female president. This completes a rare husband-wife transfer of power.
Fernandez swapped jobs with her husband Nestor Kirchner on Monday and took office as Argentina's first elected female president.
Fernandez is a 54-year-old mother of two. She's keeping many of her husband's top aides.
Outgoing Argentine President Nestor Kirchner applauds after passing the president sash and staff to his wife, Cristina Fernandez, in Congress in Buenos Aires December 10, 2007. REUTERS/Rickey Rogers (ARGENTINA)
She says it is a great honor.
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina president, said, "I have come to take up the office of President, the biggest honor for any Argentine man or woman, to be elected by our compatriots to represent us."
Fernandez also declared Argentina's right over the Falkland Islands, an archipelago off the mainland it disputes with England.
Known as the Islas Malvinas in Spanish, Argentina continues to lay claim to the islands despite a defeat by the British military in 1982.
Fernandez faces many domestic challenges such as high crime, stubborn inflation and energy shortages, which are threatening to slow the country's biggest economic expansion in a century. Argentina has had nearly five straight years of growth of more than 8 percent.
She has promised to deepen her husband's economic model emphasizing budget and trade surpluses and a weak currency to stimulate exports, create jobs and reduce poverty.