JOHANNESBURG — Angolan President Joao Lourenco has taken the oath of office at a ceremony attended by predecessor Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who stepped down after ruling the oil-rich but impoverished country since 1979.

The Portuguese news agency Lusa said thousands of people were on hand Tuesday for Lourenco’s inauguration, which ended with a military parade and a 21-gun salute.

Lourenco, the former defense minister, was declared president after Angola’s election commission said the ruling MPLA party won a national vote on Aug. 23. The commission dismissed opposition complaints that there irregularities in the election.

Lourenco, 63, fought in the war against Portuguese colonial rule as well as the long civil war that ended in 2002. He has pledged to fight corruption, although patronage networks are deeply entrenched.

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