Maputo: Mozambique`s new President Filipe Nyusi was sworn into office on Thursday in a ceremony boycotted by the main opposition party, which has rejected the results of October`s elections.
Nyusi`s inauguration extended the ruling Frelimo party`s nearly 40-year hold on power since the southern African nation won independence from Portugal.
"This takeover of power is illegal," Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama was quoted by Lusa news agency as saying ahead of the ceremony, which was attended by regional leaders and Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva.
Dhlakama, a former rebel leader who claims the elections were fraudulent, boycotted the opening of parliament on Monday and has threatened to form a parallel government in parts of the gas-rich country.
Nyusi, 55, took the oath of office before symbolically exchanging seats with outgoing president Armando Guebuza.
He pledged "to open constructive dialogue with all political forces and civil society organisations to promote peace" in a country ravaged by a brutal 16-year civil war that ended in 1992.
"I represent a new generation, a generation that inherits huge success and exciting challenges," he said.
The former defence minister is Mozambique`s first president to not have fought in the liberation war against colonial power Portugal and holds no top position in the nominally Marxist-Leninist Frelimo party.
An engineer by profession, Nyusi took 57 percent of the vote in the election -- a sharp drop from the 75 percent of votes won by Guebuza in the previous presidential election in 2009.
Dhlakama won 37 percent -- more than double his 2009 score of 16 percent.
The leaders of South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Tanzania also attended the swearing-in ceremony at Independence Square in the seaside capital Maputo.