Indonesian president sworn in for a second term

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Image: Government of Indonesia).

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been sworn in for a second five-year term as president of Indonesia. During his election campaign he promised economic growth and political reform. Under his previous term he worked to remove corruption with the Corruption Eradication Commission.

During yesterday morning's ceremonial swearing-in at the national assembly in Jakarta, broadcast throughout the country, he swore to uphold the constitution on the Qu'ran; Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, with 234 million people, of which around 85% are Muslim. "The essence of our programme for the next five years is to improve welfare, strengthen democracy and the legal system," he said. "In the middle of the economic crisis, Indonesia can still grow positively. But we cannot stay idle, as our tasks are far from over."

The president won just over 60% in July's elections, well ahead of main rival Megawati Sukarnoputri, former president and daughter of ex-president Sukarno, who brought the archipelago to independence. Megawati and former vice-president Jusuf Kalla challenged the results, claiming irregularities in votes, but in August the Constitutional Court ruled that the claims were unfounded.

Many challenges lie ahead for the president. He stated that his priority was economic growth of 4% in the face of the global financial recession. He has promised to create new jobs, reduce the number of people living under the poverty line and also encourage investment. His other tasks include handling recovery from the recent earthquakes, combating terrorism, instigating bureaucratic and labour law reforms, and improving infrastructure.

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