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 Monday, 30 December, 2002, 12:03 GMT
New Kenyan leader sworn in
Mwai Kibaki (right) and his wife Lucy
Mwai Kibaki will be Kenya's third president
Huge crowds have witnessed the inauguration of Kenyan president-elect Mwai Kibaki following the landslide victory of his National Rainbow Coalition (Narc) in Friday's election.

Hundreds of thousands in celebratory mood were at the ceremony in historic Uhuru Park, witnessed by regional heads of state.

Mwai Kibaki: 63%
Uhuru Kenyatta: 30%
Simeon Nyachae: 7%
5.4 million votes counted
10.5 million registered voters
Source: Institute for Education and Democracy
At the end of the brief ceremony there was a huge cheer from the crowd.

Speaking moments after the ceremony, outgoing president Daniel arap Moi congratulated Mr Kibaki, saying it was "an historic day in the life of our country".

Mr Kibaki roundly defeated Uhuru Kenyatta, the candidate of the Kanu party - which has run the country since independence in 1963.

The president-elect, who will become the country's third head of state, has announced sweeping changes to the way Kenya is run, promising to battle corruption.

"It feels so good. It's like independence - a second independence for Kenya," Kenyan Jared Othiambo told Reuters news agency.

A special ramp was erected for 71-year-old Mr Kibaki to attend the swearing-in. He is still using a wheelchair after being injured in a car accident during the campaign.

On Sunday the Institute for Education in Democracy - an organisation helping the electoral commission - said Mr Kibaki had won 63% of the vote.

Open in new window : Views of voters
Reaction to Kenyan results

Mr Kenyatta is estimated to have scored 30% and has conceded defeat.

The opposition is also reported to have won an overwhelming majority in parliament.

"We shall start as leaders by showing our wealth, and as soon as parliament reconvenes we shall bring and pass the law which shall establish the anti-corruption authority," Mr Kibaki told cheering supporters on Sunday.

Daniel arap Moi
Moi is the only president many Kenyans have known

Senior Narc politician Raila Odinga said: "The strong and common will of the people today has brought about a change for which we have toiled long days and nights."

"This is the dawn of a new era."

Commonwealth election observers declared the poll "free, fair, peaceful and transparent".

Correspondents say voters appear to have tired of the corruption, poverty and ailing economy that have blighted the lives of many Kenyans over recent years.

The majority can only remember one president - Mr Moi, who has been in power since 1978 but was constitutionally obliged to step down - and this election was eagerly awaited as an opportunity for far-reaching change.


The international community welcomed Mr Kibaki's victory.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell said: "The president-elect has made a commitment to ending corruption.

Opposition supporters in Mombasa
Street parties began in Mombasa as soon as unofficial results started arriving
"This would be good for the Kenyan people and, of course, good for relations with the United States."

South Africa - which currently chairs the African Union - commended "the outgoing President Daniel arap Moi, the government, the political parties and the people of Kenya on the peaceful nature of the election".

Neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania congratulated the Kenyan people.

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer described the outcome as a great step forward for democracy in the country.

Kenya's former colonial ruler, Britain, said it looked forward to working closely with Kenya's new government and leader.

  The BBC's Andrew Harding reports from Nairobi
"People are talking about a peaceful revolution"
  Sir David Steel
"Kibaki is a very clever economist"
Kenyans choose a new president

Key stories

Inauguration day

Moi steps down




See also:

29 Dec 02 | Media reports
29 Dec 02 | Business
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