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and politically on the world stage under outgoing leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Rousseff also will have to handle the unwieldy political coalitions required to govern Brazil. Silva, with his vast experience, his unique popularity and by sheer force of will was able to satisfy the leftist elements in his Workers Party, while at the same time employing orthodox economic policies to calm the business community that fretted early on about his socialist roots.
"Dilma represents a great novelty in Brazil," said Alexandre Barros, a political analyst with the Early Warning political risk group in Brasilia. "Before, every new government brought with it huge uncertainty. Everybody would shout about how Brazil was going to ruins. But now, with Rousseff, no. She represents what we've already seen.".
Rousseff takes on the formidable task of maintaining Brazil's momentum.
While proud of those gains, Rousseff said now was no time for her nation to relax.
Rousseff, 63, takes the helm of Latin America's largest nation, which has risen both financially Nike Vapormax Pure Platinum/White/Wolf Grey
In addition to sweeping improvements Brazil needs in its infrastructure, security and education, she confronts the danger of following the charismatic Silva, who leaves office with an 87 percent approval rating.
But as Silva's hand chosen successor, and a Cabinet member of his government Nike Vapormax Plus Electric Blue from its start in 2003, Rousseff has the power of continuity going for her.
And Rousseff will need a strong economy to improve the nation's woeful airports, ports, and roads all vital in transporting Brazil's raw goods to market and in hosting the World Cup and the Olympics events Brazilians hope will bolster their newfound image as a nation that gets things done.
the streets, and poor children abandoned to their luck."
Brazil swears in its first female president
"There is still poverty shaming our country," she said. "I will not rest while there are Brazilians without food on their table, homeless in Nike Vapormax Heritage Og
"I am going to consolidate the transformative work done by President Lula," Rousseff said during a 40 minute inaugural address. "He changed the way the government is run, and led the people to trust in themselves."
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Huge challenges also await Rousseff, who served as Silva's energy minister before becoming his chief of staff, where her tough managerial manner earned her the moniker "Iron Lady."
"That at times tough path made me value and love life much more," Rousseff said during her speech, choking back tears. "It gave me, more than anything else, courage to confront even bigger challenges. It is with this courage that I'm going to govern Brazil."
Rousseff, wearing a white skirt and matching jacket, took the oath of office alongside Vice President Michel Temer in the national Congress. A heavy rain swept over Brazil's capital, Brasilia, as Rousseff arrived at the Congress in a 1953 Rolls Royce, her hand waving out the window to the thousands of cheering onlookers. Her security detail comprised six young women, clad in black and running alongside the car through the downpour.
"Dilma will have to meet high expectations that the country is on an upward trajectory and life will continue to get better for the average Brazilian," said Michael Shifter, president of the Inter American Dialogue. "That will not be an easy challenge."
The external economic scenario could worsen, cutting into strong demand for Brazil's agricultural and industrial exports, particularly if anything should dampen China's growing appetite for Brazil's goods. as Brazil's biggest trading partner.
BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) Dilma Rousseff was sworn in as Brazil's first female president Saturday, capping a rapid political trajectory for the career technocrat and former Marxist rebel who was imprisoned and tortured during the nation's long military dictatorship.
office as the nation's most popular president with an approval rating that hit 87 percent in his last week in office. Rousseff was his hand chosen successor and served as his chief of staff, helping shape his policies.
Rousseff lacks Silva's political acumen and charisma and it is not yet known if she will be able to command the far flung components of the Workers Party while also keeping other factions happy in a coalition government.
Shifter said it could prove difficult for Brazil to maintain the pace of success it saw under Silva.
Brazil has made significant progress since Silva was elected. His social programs and wealth redistribution helped pull 20 million people out of poverty. On the brink of a sovereign default in 2002, it now lends money to the International Monetary Fund. Unemployment is at a record low, its currency has more than doubled against the dollar and the nation will host the 2016 Olympics.
In the eight years under Silva, Brazil sharply cut poverty while its economy boomed, and it has increased its political clout on the global stage. Brazil will host the 2014 World Cup and is expected to be the world's fifth largest economy by the time the 2016 Olympics come to the nation.
Rousseff referenced those of her generation who fought and died at the hands of Brazil's 1964 85 military dictatorship. Rousseff was part of an armed rebel group for three years before being arrested and imprisoned in early 1970. She spent three years in jail, during which time she was brutally tortured.
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