Latin America & Caribbean

Bolivia's Morales attends colourful Andean swearing-in ritual

Bolivian President Evo Morales (C) participating in a ritual ceremony at the archaeological site of Tiwanaku, about 70 km from La Paz, ahead of his swearing-in for a third mandate, on January 21, 2015 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Evo Morales is hugely popular among indigenous voters in Bolivia

Bolivian President Evo Morales has attended a colourful swearing-in ceremony dressed as an Inca emperor.

Mr Morales, who officially assumes power on Thursday, wore an embroidered gown engraved with the Inca sun god during the Andean ritual.

He will become the country's longest serving leader when he begins his term.

Wednesday's ceremony took place at Tiwanaku, the site of an ancient pre-Incan centre of power in the west of present day Bolivia.

Mr Morales is the country's first indigenous president and has been in office since 2006.

He remains hugely popular among indigenous people, who make up almost two thirds of the country's population, but his critics accuse him of authoritarianism and of wasting money on dubious projects.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The president carried two ceremonial staffs during the ceremony
Image copyright AP
Image caption Indigenous Aymaran spiritual guides begin the ceremonial swearing-in
Image copyright AFP
Image caption An Aymara native takes part in a parade following the ceremony
Image copyright AFP
Image caption The swearing-in took place in the town of Tiwanaku, about 70km (43 miles) from the capital La Paz.
Image copyright AP
Image caption Evo Morales pictured during a blessing at the ceremony

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