GV EXTERIOR National Assembly building in Gaborone
SV New President of Botswana Dr. Quett Masire arriving in car and walking into assembly building accompanied by security guards
SV Policemen standing across road from assembly building PAN TO crowd outside
SV Dr. Masire and Mrs. Masire taking seats on podium at entrance to assembly building
CU Dr. Masire
GV PAN Onlookers outside assembly building
SV Dr. Masire being sworn in by Judge Chief Justice Mr. Robert Heyfro???-Benjamin and then being congratulated by Chief Justice
GV Crowd applauding PAN TO new president waving
MASIRE: "I Quett Masire do swear that I will faithfully and diligently discharge my duty and, perform my functions in the high office of the President of the Republic of Botswana. That I will maintain the constitution of Botswana and uphold the laws of Botswana without fear or favour, affection or ill will, so help me God."
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Background: Dr. Quett Masire, a member of one of Botswana's minority tribes, became the country's president, on Friday (18 July). He said he intended to uphold democracy in the same way as President Sir Seretse Khama, who died last week.
SYNOPSIS: Members of the National Assembly voted overwhelmingly to make Dr. Masire the new leader of the mineral-rich southern African country. Shortly afterwards he arrived at the National Assembly in Gaborone, to be sworn in at a public ceremony on the steps of the Parliament building. He was the only person nominated to succeed Sir Seretse, his life-long friend, who died of cancer last Sunday (13 July).
The two men jointly founded the ruling Botswana Democratic Party in 1962, and Dr. Masire has been Vice President since Botswana gained independence in 1966. He was Agriculture Minister in the first cabinet and has been Minister of Finance since 1969. The new president is regarded as a reluctant politician, describing himself as a farmer who has been drawn into politics. Dr. Masire has earned international respect during his career. Diplomats in Botswana expect little political change.
When the Chief Justice, Mr. Robert Heyfron-Benjamin had sworn Dr. Masire in, he congratulated the new President.
Dr. Masire said it was not an enviable task to succeed a man of Sir Seretse's stature.