• Afghan president-elect Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai
    Afghan president-elect Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai speaks during an event in Kabul September 22, 2014. Afghanistan's president-elect promised to end political strife and corruption in a speech on Monday, his first since signing a power-sharing agreement with his rival aimed at bringing months of turmoil to a close.Reuters
  • Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai

Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai was sworn in on Monday as the new President of Afghanistan in a ceremony at the presidential palace in Kabul.

The former finance minister was inaugurated, marking Afghanistan's first democratic transfer of power since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Al-Jazeera reported.

Ghani succeeds Hamid Karzai after a three-month standoff over disputed election results.

Both Ghani and rival Abdullah Abdullah claimed to have won the June 14 election, plunging Afghanistan into a crisis.

But, under pressure from the US and UN, the two candidates eventually agreed to form a national unity government, and Ghani was declared President after an audit of nearly eight-million ballot papers.

Abdullah will also be sworn in as chief executive, a new role similar to a prime minister, in a government structure far different to Karzai's all-powerful presidency.

"We made a lot of effort to bring about a long-lasting peace, but unfortunately our hopes did not fully materialise, but I should say that peace will surely come," Karzai said during farewell speech late on Sunday.