The Dominican Republic swore in its new president Thursday with pledges to reduce poverty and improve the Caribbean country's education system.

Danilo Medina said Thursday that he also will expand infrastructure projects from the previous administration, including a subway system, hospitals and roads.

The 60-year-old economist of the Dominican Liberation Party won 51 percent of the vote in May, beating former President Hipolito Mejia. Medina previously ran for the presidency in 2000, when he lost to Mejia.

Between 1990 and 1994, Medina was the president of the Chamber of Deputies in the National Congress where he was instrumental in resolving of the 1994 political impasse. 

Medina was twice the Secretary of the Presidency to outgoing President Leonel Fernández, once during his first term in the late 1990s and the in 2004 during is second term.  

Outgoing President Fernández was constitutionally banned from seeking a third term and departed with a 70 percent approval rating.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press. 

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