The Rev. Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti's first democratically elected president, was sworn into office Thursday morning, five years to the day after the fall of the Duvalier family dictatorship.

The 37-year-old leftist priest and champion of the poor pledged to uphold the 1987 constitution in a solemn ceremony that occurred without incident in the Chamber of Deputies of the Legislative Palace.Dignitaries from 22 nations, including U.S. Ambassador Alvin Adams and former President Jimmy Carter, attended the inauguration - a historic milestone for the impoverished Caribbean nation that has been ruled by despots virtually since independence from France in 1804.