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Senegal: Macky Sall sworn in as president

Senegal's new president Macky Sall swore to "observe and enforce the constitution," during an inauguration ceremony in Dakar.

Macky sall inauguration 2012 04 02Enlarge
Macky Sall was sworn in as Senegal's new president on April 2, 2012, replacing Abdoulaye Wade. (ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Macky Sall, Senegal's new president, was sworn into office Monday after a landslide victory in last month's presidential runoff election.

Sall's inauguration ceremony at a hotel in Dakar, the capital, was attended by thousands of people including 11 heads of state from neighboring West African countries, the Associated Press reported

Sall last month trounced 85-year-old incumbent Abdoulaye Wade, who had been in power for 12 years and had changed the country's constitution to allow himself to run for a third term.

Wade conceded defeat in a phone call to Sall mere hours after the polls closed, drawing widespread praise for the peaceful transition. 

More from GlobalPost: Senegal election: Abdoulaye Wade concedes defeat to Macky Sall (PHOTOS)

Senegal's election came just days after a coup in neighboring Mali, and observers had urged Senegal to prove its reputation as a bastion of democracy in the region.

Sall, 50, who previously served as prime minister, won 65.8 percent of the votes in the March 26 second round of the election, the BBC said.

At his inauguration ceremony, Sall swore to "observe and enforce the constitution" while defending the "territorial integrity" of his country, Agence France-Presse reported.

Six people were killed in protests in the lead up to the first round of voting, in February, but campaigning for the second round was calm in comparison, with only a few clashes reported between rival supporters.

More from GlobalPost: 'Senegal wins' in presidential election, Macky Sall says in victory speech

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/senegal/120402/macky-sall-inauguration-president-senegal