Three months after winning the general election in a close vote, Danilo Medina, of the Dominican Liberation Party, was sworn in as president of the Dominican Republic on Thursday.
With pledges to reduce poverty and improve the country's education system, Medina also promised to expand infrastructure projects from the previous administration, including a subway system, hospitals and roads.
The country's high cost of living, unemployment, corruption and a soaring crime rate were among the top issues in the election. Medina has promised to raise the country's standard of living.
"I launch an appeal to all sectors to come together and form a pact to lift one and a half million Dominicans out of poverty over the next four years," Medina said at his swearing-in ceremony .
"I came here not driven by a desire for power but by my unwavering commitment to serve my people."
The 60-year-old economist won 51 per cent of the vote on May 20, beating former President Hipolito Mejia.
The previous President Leonel Fernandez was constitutionally banned from seeking a third term.
The Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, faces high unemployment and rising crime.