Jimmy Morales
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales participates in a military parade during a ceremony to recognize him as commander-in-chief of the armed forces in Guatemala City, Guatemala, January 15, 2016.REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

Guatemalan former TV comic Jimmy Morales has been inaugurated as the nation's new president. He was elected in October after huge anti-corruption demonstrations across the country led to the prosecution and incarceration of former president Otto Perez Molina.

Morales, is a household name in the impoverished nation following a 14-year stint on a popular TV comedy show. He has had no previous experience in government positions.

He won the hearts of the nation by promising tough anti-corruption measures and more money for health and education in a Guatemalan "renaissance". Morales supporters pointed to widespread discontent with Guatemala's political class, compounded by a UN-backed investigation into a multi-million dollar customs racket that led to the resignation and arrest of Perez.

In one of his more bizarre plans Morales promised to hand out smartphones to children. Morales is leader of the FCN or Frente de Convergencia Nacional (National Convergence Front) and welcomed US Vice-President Joe Biden at the inauguration ceremony.

"A new Guatemala is possible, and it's worth the struggle. Of course things could be better, but I want you to bear in mind things don't change overnight we're passing from the darkness of corruption to the dawn of transparency," Morales said according to Reuters.

Critics of Morales say he has given little indication of how he might battle corruption or how he would take on other key issues like the epidemic levels of violence, poverty and social inequality. Morales, who says he is from a humble background in nation's capital, Guatemala City, didn't even feature as a frontrunner until April but as the corruption scandal rocked the nation his approval ratings went through the roof.

When he won the election in October he said: "I'm a common man like you. I don't have super-powers nor magic and I've never said I do. But I do have a swollen heart that loves this nation and, together, we're going to fight for her."

Morales, a former theology student with socially conservative leanings, has vowed to extend the investigations led by the Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig), the UN-backed anti-corruption body, which toppled Perez.