Former Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa handed the presidential sash Wednesday to the South American country's new President Lenin Moreno, who is set to continue a decade of social and economic gains known as the Citizens' Revolution.
In the National Assembly in the capital city of Quito, against a backdrop of a striking mural painted by Ecuadorean artist Oswaldo Guayasamin, an emotional Correa placed the presidential sash over the shoulder of his former Vice President Moreno as the enthusiastic crowd burst into chants of "Lenin! Lenin!"
"A phase has ended ... and a new one begins," said Moreno in his first address after being sworn in as president, noting that the country has seen 10 years of reclaiming sovereignty and pride as a nation. "No one doubts we have created a different Ecuador and that there is still much to do."
"I am the president for all," he continued. "I will work so that no one, abosultely no one, is left behind ... The future is now."
Moreno's vice president, Jorge Glas, who also served as vice president under Correa, was also inaugurated, minutes after the president.
Before removing the presidential sash, Correa delivered his final report as head of state to National Assembly chief Jose Serrano, newly inaugurated in the post last week.
Hundreds made their way to the historic center of Ecuador's capital city to witness the passing of powers after 10 years of progressive policies under Correa's leadership.
Ahead of the ceremony in the National Assembly, the day's events began with President Rafael Correa traveling to the Metropolitan Cathedral located in the heart of Quito to present a wreath of flowers at the mausoleum of South American independence leader Mariscal Antonio Jose de Sucre. This custom occurs annually on May 24 to pay respect to the heroes of the Battle of Pinchincha, which led to the liberation of Quito from Spanish forces in 1822.
The president was accompanied by top officials, including Minister of Defense Ricardo Patiño, National Electoral Council President Juan Pablo Pozo, Minister of Security Cesar Navas, among others.
After Moreno's swearing in, the crowd bid farewell to Correa, president since 2007, with boisterous cheers of "Rafael, friend, the people are with you!" as the former head of state made his way out of the National Assembly.
The day's activities were set to continue with a lunch hosted by Moreno for visiting heads of state and the taking of possession of Moreno's Cabinet, officially announced on the eve of his inaguration.
Moreno, a renowned disability rights activist and former U.N. special envoy on Disability and Accessibility, has promised to continue and expand the progressive policies championed by the Correa government.