George W. Bush has won a second term as US president after Senator John Kerry conceded defeat. The Democrat challenger telephoned Bush to offer his congratulations. Bush is said to have told Kerry that he was an “admirable and worthy” opponent during the five minute call, which ended their extraordinarily close eight-month struggle for the White House.
Kerry told Bush the country was divided and urged him to work to bring Americans together. The president is expected to address the nation at about 9 o’clock Central European Time. Kerry’s move ended one of the most expensive, bitter and closely fought elections in living memory. It seems the country chose to take up the President’s promise of steady, strong wartime leadership over Kerry’s fresh-start approach to the war on terror and the economy. Bush captured 29 states with 274 electoral votes. Kerry won 19 states and the District of Columbia and 252 votes. Bush held a lead of nearly 4 million votes over Kerry nationwide with 99 percent of the precincts reporting. The president also won Florida, the biggest of the toss-up battleground states. The European Commission President Romano Prodi has congratulated Bush, saying Europe would work to strengthen cooperation with the US.