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George Bush wins US election

George W. Bush is the new US president

(Keystone)

The Republican candidate, George W. Bush, has won one of the most closely contested presidential elections ever in the United States, according to forecasts by US television networks.

Provisional results from the state of Florida, one of the last states to count its votes, gave Bush the necessary majority in the US electoral college.

It was the closest presidential contest for over 30 years.

Among the most important results were Gore's victories in California, Michigan and Pennsylvania. However, Bush won Gore's home state of Tennessee as well as Arkansas - the home of the outgoing president, Bill Clinon.

In Congress, the Republicans also appear to have retained their majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

One of the most eagerly awaited results was in New York, where the First Lady, Hillary Clinton, beat the Republican, Rick Lazio, in the Senate election by an estimated half million vote margin.

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