Languages
Page last updated at 19:29 GMT, Wednesday, 5 November 2008

World leaders hail Obama triumph

Advertisement

Barack Obama speaks to jubilant crowds at his victory rally in Chicago

World leaders have hailed the election of Senator Barack Obama as the first black president of the United States.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown called Tuesday's poll historic and said he and Mr Obama "share many values".

Chinese President Hu Jintao said he looked forward to strengthening dialogue. France's Nicolas Sarkozy said the poll had raised "enormous hope".

Outgoing US President George W Bush said Mr Obama could count on "complete co-operation" during the transition.

The president-elect will take over the presidency in January.

Democratic officials quoted by the Associated Press news agency say Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel has been offered the job of Mr Obama's White House chief-of-staff.

Bush congratulates Obama

It is not known whether Mr Emanuel - a former aide in President Bill Clinton's administration - has accepted.

Besides winning the presidency, the Democrats tightened their grip on Congress.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hailed both Mr Obama's victory and her party's gains, saying the American people had spoken out "loudly and clearly" for change.

Blessing

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was looking forwards "to an era of renewed partnership and a new multilateralism".

OBAMA GAINS
Ohio
New Mexico
Iowa
Virginia
Florida
Colorado
Nevada
Indiana

In Kenya - the birthplace of Mr Obama's father - President Mwai Kibaki declared a national holiday on Thursday.

Pope Benedict XVI asked for "God's blessings on the American people".

The BBC's Justin Webb in Washington says Americans have made two fundamental statements about themselves - that they are profoundly unhappy with the status quo, and that they are slamming the door on the country's racial past.

At the White House, Mr Bush told reporters: "History was made yesterday."

He congratulated the president-elect on an "impressive victory" and said it represented strides "toward a more perfect union".

From red to blue

On election night, Mr Obama appeared with his family, and his running mate Joe Biden, in Grant Park, Chicago.

He told tens of thousands of jubilant supporters: "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."

An Indonesian woman looks at a poster of Barack Obama, 5 November 2008
Mr Obama's victory was celebrated in many countries

But he added: "Even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century."

Mr Obama captured the key battleground states of Pennsylvania and Ohio, before breaking through the winning threshold of 270 electoral college votes at 0400 GMT, when projections showed he had also taken California and a string of other states.

Then came the news that he had also seized Florida, Virginia and Colorado - all of which voted Republican in 2004 - turning swathes of the map from red to blue.

Projected results have yet to be announced for the states of North Carolina and Missouri, which are believed to be too close to call.

HAVE YOUR SAY
I find myself strangely emotional about this. I want to go wake up my neighbours and hug them
Amy Scullane, Boston

But with most precincts tallied, Mr Obama's share of the popular vote stands at 52.3%, compared with Mr McCain's 46.4%.

Turnout was reported to be extremely high - in some places "unprecedented".

It was predicted 130 million Americans, or more, would vote - more than for any election since 1960.

Many people said they felt they had voted in a historic election - and for many African-Americans the moment was especially poignant.

John Lewis, an activist in the civil rights era who was left beaten on an Alabama bridge 40 years ago, told Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church: "This is a great night. It is an unbelievable night. It is a night of thanksgiving."

The entire US House of Representatives and a third of US Senate seats were also up for grabs.

The Democrats increased their Senate majority by five seats, but fell short of the 60 needed to stop blocking tactics by Republicans.

They also increased their majority in the House of Representatives.


Send your video reactions to yourpics@bbc.co.uk or text them to 61124. If you have a large file you can upload here.

Read the terms and conditions

At no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws.



Print Sponsor


Electoral College votes

Winning post 270
Obama - Democrat
365
McCain - Republican
173
Select from the list below to view state level results.

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific