Laurentino Cortizo takes oath as president of Panama, vows to curb corruption, close wealth gap in…

Panama City: Panama’s new President Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo vowed to curb corruption and close the wealth gap in the isthmus nation at his swearing-in ceremony on Monday. U.S.-educated political veteran Cortizo, 66, of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), won the May election by just over two percentage points, the closest presidential race in decades.

During his five-year term he will have to balance relations with China and the United States, on top of domestic issues. Upon taking office at a convention center in the capital, Cortizo repeated campaign vows to clean up politics after Panama’s image was tarnished by a corruption scandal involving Brazilian engineering firm Odebrecht and the Panama Papers leak of millions of documents detailing tax evasion by the rich and powerful.

 Laurentino Cortizo takes oath as president of Panama, vows to curb corruption, close wealth gap in isthmus nation

Panama’s

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