Trump elected as America's 45th president

By Reuters, AFP   November 9, 2016 | 02:48 pm GMT+7
Trump elected as America's 45th president
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump greets supporters during his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Mike Segar

Donald Trump's been elected U.S. President in a stunning victory over Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump stunned the world by defeating heavily favored Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House 276 to 218, ending eight years of Democratic rule and sending the United States on a new, uncertain path.

The Republican President-elect pledged to be the "President to all Americans" after the results broke in.

Trump also said he had spoken to Clinton and that she "had congratulated us." He said he congratulated her on a very very hard fought campaign.

A wealthy real-estate developer and former reality TV host, Trump rode a wave of anger toward Washington insiders to defeat Clinton, whose gold-plated establishment resume includes stints as a first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.

Worried a Trump victory could cause economic and global uncertainty, investors were in full flight from risky assets such as stocks. In overnight trading, S&P 500 index futures fell 5 percent to hit their so-called limit down levels, indicating they would not be permitted to trade any lower until regular U.S. stock market hours on Wednesday.

The Associated Press and Fox News projected that Trump had collected just enough of the 270 state-by-state electoral votes needed to win a four-year term that starts on Jan. 20, taking battleground states where presidential elections are traditionally decided.

His win raises a host of questions for the United States at home and abroad. He campaigned on a pledge to take the country on a more isolationist, protectionist "America First" path. He has vowed to impose a 35 percent tariff on goods exported to the United States by U.S. companies that went abroad.

Both candidates, albeit Trump more than Clinton, had historically low popularity ratings in an election that many voters characterized as a choice between two unpleasant alternatives.

Trump, who at 70 will be the oldest first-term U.S. president, came out on top after a bitter and divisive campaign that focused largely on the character of the candidates and whether they could be trusted to serve as the country's 45th president.

The presidency will be his first elected office, and it remains to be seen how he will work with Congress. During the campaign Trump was the target of sharp disapproval, not just from Democrats but from many in his own party.

Television networks projected Republicans would retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, where all 435 seats were up for grabs. In the U.S. Senate, the party also put up an unexpectedly tough fight to protect its majority in the U.S. Senate.

Trump entered the race 17 months ago and survived a series of seemingly crippling blows, many of them self-inflicted, including the emergence in October of a 2005 video in which he boasted about making unwanted sexual advances on women. He apologized but within days, several women emerged to say he had groped them, allegations he denied. He was judged the loser of all three presidential debates with Clinton.

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