US celebrates Obama's re-election

Barack Obama wins re-election as American president on 7 November 2012. Picture: AFP
President Barack Obama has given a powerful victory speech, after being reelected in the US presidential polls.

NEW YORK – Americans on Wednesday celebrated Barack Obama's re-election as president.

After six months and more than 100 rallies nationwide, Obama and his Republican challenger were neck-and-neck in the race to the White House, before the incumbent took the swing state of Ohio.

Obama also managed to win the state of Iowa to secure more than 300 electoral votes in the battle for the world’s most powerful economy.

He will now return to serve another four years and says this will give him and his administration a chance to finish what they started.

The last votes are still being counted, but challenger Mitt Romney has delivered his concession speech.

Thousands packed into Chicago to celebrate Obama’s victory.

“We have fought our way back and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come,” said Obama.

The president told them he wants to work with Romney going forward.

“In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.”

Obama praised his supporters saying Americans voted for action.

Meanwhile, former South African president Nelson Mandela on Wednesday added his voice to the chorus around the world, in congratulating Obama on his re-election bid.

US political expert said he is not too surprised by Obama's re-election, despite staggering unemployment rates.

Expert Brooks Spector said Americans are not pinning all the country's financial woes squarely on Obama.

“More than 50 percent said the state of the economy was [former president] George W. Bush’s fault.”

Obama's victory has been enthusiastically received across the African continent.

Sello Hatang from the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory says Madiba has expressed confidence in Obama.

“Madiba’s message back in 2008 was that Obama will always be in our affection as a young man who dared to dream and who pursued that dream. We wish him well and hope his second term in office will see him realise that dream.”

Earlier, President Jacob Zuma and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyau congratulated Obama on his re-election.