Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was formally sworn in as President by Mali’s Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Keita’s inauguration began with a silent hand-over procedure with interim President DioncoundaTraore, followed by a ceremony observed by select Malian institutions at the international conference centre in the capital, Bamako.
“I swear before God and the Malian people to loyally protect the republican regime, to fulfil my functions in the best interest of the people, to preserve democratic gains, to protect national unity, the independence of the homeland and Mali’s territorial integrity,” Keita swore..
After taking the oath of office, Keita thanked the international community for its support in retaking the north from the hands of extremists and vowed to prioritize national unity after a rebellion, a coup and an Islamic insurgency plunged the long democratic nation into near ruin.
A public inauguration ceremony with foreign dignitaries is planned for September 19.
Keita won Mali’s August 11 presidential runoff with 77.6 per cent of the vote. His opponent,Soumaila Cisse, conceded defeat even before those results were announced.
Keita emerged as the overwhelming winner of the first election held since mutinous soldiers overthrew long time President Amadou Toumani Toure in March 2012.
In the aftermath, al-Qaida-linked jihadists seized power across northern Mali and were only ousted by a French-led military offensive earlier this year.