Pranab Mukherjee Sworn In As India's New President

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India's former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee was sworn in as the country's new president Wednesday.

India's newly elected President Pranab Mukherjee (C) pays respect at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Rajghat in New Delhi July 25, 2012.

India's former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee was sworn in as the country's new president Wednesday.

The 77-year-old veteran politician was administered the oath of office by the Chief Justice of India at the parliament at 11.30 a. m. local time, three days after he won the presidential poll defeating his main challenger and former Parliament Speaker P.A. Sangma by a huge margin.

Mukherjee, who won the presidential poll held on July 19, succeeded Pratibha Patil to become the country's 13th president. He was from the eastern state of West Bengal.

Supported by the ruling Congress party-led United Progressive Alliance, Mukherjee won 69 percent of the votes by the electorate comprising Members of Parliament and state legislators.

A holder of two masters degrees as well as a law degree from Calcutta University, Mukherjee had earlier held key portfolios like the foreign and defense ministers in his political career spanning over four decades.

The president is the head-of-state in India which is largely a ceremonial position and has a fixed tenure of five years.