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Sall Sworn in as Senegal President

Senegal's newly inaugurated President Macky Sall (R) is surrounded by security as he leaves his swearing-in ceremony at a hotel in Dakar, April 2, 2012

Following his second-round victory over incumbent Abdoulaye Wade, Macky Sall was sworn in as president of Senegal Monday. Regional heads of state came to Dakar to congratulate Africa's newest president.

Thousands looked on as Mr. Sall took the oath of Senegal's highest office at King Fahd Palace Hotel on Monday afternoon.

Mr. Sall swore to fulfill his duty as president of the republic before God and before the people of Senegal and to uphold the constitution and the laws.

The inauguration marked the end of a controversial election period in the West African nation. Cheikh Tidiane Diakhaté is the president of Senegal's Constitutional Council, which oversaw the ceremony.

Diakhaté said all observers recognized the result of the vote, which he said took place freely and transparently, despite the alarmist predictions of some.

Those predictions began when the high court approved the candidacy of President Abdoulaye Wade in late January, despite a two-term limit that he signed into law in 2001.

Senegal experienced a series of violent protests against the court's decision prior to the first-round vote, but Mr. Wade's opponents resigned to unseating him by the ballot. With a unified coalition of former candidates and opposition organizations behind him, Mr. Sall won more than 65 percent of the second-round vote.

Amsatou Sow Sidibé was one of the former candidates on hand at the inauguration.

Sidibé said that democracy has imposed itself and Macky Sall has been recognized as the president by the Constitutional Council. She said it is truly extraordinary.

In addition to the candidates, 11 regional heads of state attended the inauguration. Abdoulaye Wade was not in attendance.