BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: World: Asia-Pacific
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Wednesday, 8 August, 2001, 19:46 GMT 20:46 UK
Megawati seeks to reassure markets
Megawati (centre) announcing new cabinet
Megawati's new cabinet includes many technocrats
Indonesia's new President, Megawati Sukarnoputri, has announced her long-awaited new cabinet, naming a highly respected economic team that is expected to calm jittery markets.


National unity will be the first priority of my cabinet

Megawati Sukarnoputri
Three of the economic team's four members are technocrats - or professionals - with the outgoing ambassador to the United States, Dorodjatun Kuntoro-Jakti, named top economics minister.

Boediono, a highly respected bureaucrat with a rich background in banking, has been appointed finance minister.

Our correspondent says this is likely to go down well with the markets and international community, both of which were concerned to see a strong economic team which would not be overly hampered by party loyalty.

Currency challenge

Megawati has been careful to include top politicians from all the main parliamentary parties in other positions.

For her, this is vital to ensure the continued support of parliament, which last month impeached her predecessor, Abdurrahman Wahid.

"National unity will be the first priority of my cabinet," Megawati said in a nationally televised address.

She said the cabinet's main economic challenges would be to stabilise the wildly fluctuating currency and restructure the banking sector.

Defence surprise

The government would also work to improve relations with Indonesia's creditors, who are supporting a multi-billion dollar economic rescue program led by the International Monetary Fund.

Former general, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has been appointed chief security minister, one of the cabinet's most powerful positions.

The defence portfolio has surprisingly been given to a civilian, Matori Abdul Djalil.

Mr Djalil was chairman of the party of Mr Wahid, but he deserted him and joined Megawati.

Haggling delay

There had been widespread criticism that more than two weeks after Megawati took office, the country still did not know who would fill Indonesia's top political posts.

Furniture moving
Megawati has only just moved into the presidential offices
The delay was blamed on behind-the-scenes haggling between the various political factions that ousted Megawati's predecessor.

Megawati has had to rely on the backing of other parties to win office, because although her party has one-third of the seats in parliament, it still lacks a governing majority.

Our correspondent says her whole approach to leading a nation is expected to be radically different from that of Mr Wahid.

She is acutely aware that if she creates enemies in parliament, she could suffer the same fate as her predecessor.

Earlier this week, the president moved into the presidential palace in Jakarta - her childhood home before her father President Sukarno was deposed in 1965.

A new office has been set up for her in a quiet area of the palace grounds, but she has decided not to live in the accommodation provided within the palace complex.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Richard Galpin reports from Jakarta
"The ministers are seen as potentially strong team"
Mark Baird from the World Bank in Jakarta
was asked whether Megawati had picked a team that could rescue the Indonesian economy
See also:

09 Aug 01 | Asia-Pacific
Indonesia's new cabinet
09 Aug 01 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Megawati's juggling act
06 Aug 01 | Asia-Pacific
Megawati enters palace - at last
26 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Indonesia's sacked leader quits country
24 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Megawati moves to form government
23 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
World reaches out to Megawati
23 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Indonesian military holds key to power
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories