6 Nov 2008

US election party in Wellington

11:34 am on 6 November 2008

Hundreds of people joined United States Ambassador William McCormick for an election party in Wellington on Wednesday.

Democratic Senator Barack Obama was elected the first black president of the United States, defeating Republican rival John McCain.

Part of the Michael Fowler centre was transformed with red, white and blue ribbons, balloons, American flags and campaign memorabilia.

Guests included US embassy staff as well as academics, Americans living in New Zealand and others who work closely with the embassy.

Television and internet links kept the hundreds of guests up with the play - with the deputy ambassador David Keegan, acting as master of ceremonies.

Mr McCormick says it has been an historic election on many fronts - others say it has made them proud to be American.

Senator Obama will be inaugurated as the 44th US president on 20 January, along with vice president-elect Joe Biden.