15/05/2012 06:09 BST | Updated 15/05/2012 06:28 BST

Francois Hollande Sworn In As French President (PHOTOS)

Francois Hollande was sworn in as French President on Tuesday morning, the fist socialist to hold the position in 17 years.

Hollande secured the presidency after beating incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy with 51.9 percent of the vote in the recent elections.

The new president was awarded the Legion D'Honneur, France's highest distinction and made a short speech to mark the event.

He said that he would exercise power "with dignity and in a simple way".

"France will respect all people, it will defend liberty. I am aware of the solemn aspect of this occasion. I will represent my country in the world," he said.

He paid tribute to outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy, saying only: 'I express my wish for the new life before him'.