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The BBC's Clive Myrie
"Defiance comes easily to Mr Wahid"
 real 56k

The BBC's Peter Hiett
looks at Megawati Sukarnoputri's life and political career to date
 real 28k

The BBC's Jim Fish
looks at Mr Wahid's time in office
 real 56k

Monday, 23 July, 2001, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Megawati appeals for national unity
Megawati Sukarnoputri is sworn in under a copy of the Koran
Megawati was sworn in minutes after Wahid's dismissal
Indonesia's new President, Megawati Sukarnoputri, has appealed for national unity in her inaugural speech.


Let us build our country together... let us erase all the fights among us which have only deepened the sorrow of the people

Megawati Sukarnoputri
The man parliament voted to dismiss, Abdurrahman Wahid, continues to defy the country's highest legislative body, the People's Consultative Assembly, by refusing to leave the presidential palace.

On a day of high drama, Megawati was sworn in within minutes of a parliamentary vote to dismiss Mr Wahid from office for alleged corruption.

Wahid appeared on the palace steps
Wahid salutes supporters from the presidential palace steps
Mr Wahid's sacking - in a unanimous, nationally televised open vote - came just hours after he had declared a state of emergency, in an attempt to suspend parliament and thwart the impeachment hearings against him.

Mr Wahid ordered the security forces to ensure the assembly was dissolved - an order ignored by both the police and military.

Instead, they helped protect the parliament from any possible demonstrations by the former president's supporters.

Indonesia
World's largest Muslim state and fourth most populous nation
Huge archipelago of 13,000 islands
Racked by separatist and sectarian violence
Hit by severe economic crisis
The Indonesian Supreme Court rejected the state of emergency as illegal and the assembly impeached Mr Wahid after hearings into allegations of corruption and incompetence.

Late on Monday, Mr Wahid waved to about 300 supporters gathered outside the palace, but he has made no comment on the assembly's vote to oust him.

Expected mass demonstrations by Wahid supporters have not materialised.

'Democratic process'

Megawati appealed for calm in her inaugural speech before parliament.

"I call on all parties to accept this democratic process with sincerity... this is the voice of the people which we must uphold," she said.

Soldiers in Jakarta
The Indonesian military and police unambiguously backed Megawati
"Let us build our country together... let us erase all the fights among us which have only deepened the sorrow of the people."

Mr Wahid had earlier likened his struggle against impeachment to a jihad or holy war - language that could be very inflammatory in the current crisis, the BBC's Richard Galpin reports from Jakarta.

US President George W Bush has praised the change of leadership in Indonesia. He said he was looking forward to working with President Megawati to address the economic and political challenges facing the country.

Wahid timeline
1 Feb: Parliament censures Wahid over alleged corruption
30 Apr: Second censure from parliament
28 May: Corruption charges dropped
30 May: Parliament votes to impeach Wahid for 'incompetence'
20 Jul: Early impeachment session called
23 July: MPs reject Wahid's declaration of state of emergency
The European Commission appealed for restraint by all parties.

Indonesia's neighbours have given a cautious welcome to the new president. Singapore's foreign minister, Shanmugam Jayakumar, said it he hoped it would bring a period of calm during which Indonesia could begin to address its very serious problems.

Financial markets have reacted positively to the news, with both share prices and the currency, the rupiah, rising significantly.

Sporadic violence

Mr Wahid - a nearly blind Muslim cleric - has repeatedly warned that the giant country could break apart if the assembly removed him from office.

He has strong support in East Java, which has seen sporadic violence in recent months. There are reports of some small demonstrations there.

There were two bomb attacks at churches in Jakarta on Sunday, which left 60 injured, but so far there have been no reports of violence or protests since the assembly's impeachment sessions began.

Moves to oust him began last year when he was linked to two corruption scandals, although police and prosecutors cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Megawati leads Indonesia's largest political party, and is the daughter of the country's founding leader and former President, Sukarno, who was himself impeached by parliament amid political turmoil in 1966.

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See also:

23 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
World reaches out to Megawati
20 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid appoints new police chief
16 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid faces early impeachment
23 Jul 01 | Business
Indonesian markets rise
13 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Armed police defy Wahid
12 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Police feud symbolic of chaos
31 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Indonesia's power vacuum
30 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Testing Indonesia's democracy
21 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Indonesia's political turmoil
23 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Indonesian military holds key to power
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