On this day January 22, 2006
Evo Morales is inaugurated as President of Bolivia, becoming the country’s first indigenous president after 470 years since the Spanish Conquest.
Morales was first elected President of Bolivia on December 18, 2005, with 53.7% of the popular vote in an election that saw the participation of 84.5% of the national electorate.
Two and a half years later he substantially increased this majority; in a recall referendum on August 14, 2008, more than two thirds of voters (67.4%) voted to keep him in power.
On January 22 he officially received power in a ceremony in La Paz attended by multiple heads of state, including Argentine President Néstor Kirchner and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, whose country has had a history of diplomatic conflict with Bolivia was also present and met with the dignitary in private. Morales described his presidency as marking a new era, and that the 500 years of colonialism were now at an end.