Bush sworn in 43rd U.S. President amid hopes

WASHINGTON, JAN. 20. The former Texas Governor, Mr. George W. Bush, was sworn in amid the booming of a 21-gun salute as the 43rd President of the United States today, with the former Defence Secretary, Mr. Richard B. Cheney, as the Vice-President.

Mr. Bush, 54, a cautious Republican conservative, now occupies the position held by his father Mr. George H. W. Bush, eight years ago. It is the second time in American history that both a father and a son have become Presidents. The last time it happened was when John Quincy Adams became President at a time when America comprised 24 States against the current 50.

Mr. Bush succeeds one of the most popular Presidents, Mr. Bill Clinton, whose Vice-President, Mr. Al Gore, he defeated in a bruising and divisive election.

The new President brings to the White House a passion for education, a desire to shrink the role of the government even more than Mr. Clinton did and a commitment to reduce taxes as the economy begins to show weakness.


`A new commitment'

Sridhar Krishnaswami writes:

Mr. Bush's inaugural address, excerpts of which were released in advance, marks a ``new commitment'' to fulfill the promise to the nation through civility, courage, compassion and character.

He says, ``I will live and lead by these principles: to advance my convictions with civility, to pursue the public interest with courage; to speak for greater justice and compassion; to call for responsibility, and try to live it as well''.

``What you do is as important as anything the government does. I ask you to seek a common good beyond your comfort; to defend needed reforms against easy attacks; to serve your nation, beginning with your neighbour. I ask you to be citizens. Citizens, not spectators. Citizens, not subjects. Responsible citizens, building communities of service and a nation of character.''

Service at President's church

Mr. Bush got ready for the `big day' by getting up at 6.30 a.m. The official start of the ceremonies began shortly before 9.30 a.m. when Mr. Bush, his wife, Ms. Laura Bush, and their twin daughters Jenna and Barbara left the official Blair House to St. John's Church near the White House, called the ``President's church'' as several leaders visited the worship place during their tenure.

Meanwhile, a series of protests have been planned around the parade route.