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Page last updated at 07:01 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 08:01 UK

Indonesia leader starts new term

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono: ''Reformation has come a long way''

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been sworn in for a second five-year term as president of Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.

Mr Yudhoyono won a resounding victory at the polls in July, in part because he had clamped down on corruption.

Under him, the anti-corruption agency has become a powerful state body.

But correspondents say he now faces other challenges, including terrorism, the aftermath of September's earthquake in Sumatra and high unemployment.

The global financial crisis has not hit Indonesia as badly as some of its neighbours, but many people have been hurt by the slowdown and millions still live under the poverty line.

Positive growth

At a ceremony in Jakarta attended by the leaders of Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and East Timor that was broadcast to the archipelago of 234m people, Mr Yudhoyono swore on the Koran, Islam's holy book, to uphold the constitution.

"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."

A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Cibubur
Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim-majority country

Analysts have said President Yudhoyono must appoint technocrats and professionals rather than career politicians to his new cabinet in order to attract flagging foreign investment.

Reforms to the bureaucracy and labour laws and improvements to the country's infrastructure are also needed to maintain the country's economic growth, estimated to be about 4% this year, economists say.

The BBC's Karishma Vaswani in Jakarta says Mr Yudhoyono will have to prove to his voters that they chose the right man.

In July's election, the president won 60.8% of the vote, 34% more than his nearest challenger, Megawati Sukarnoputri, a former president and daughter of independence hero Sukarno.

Mrs Megawati and the third-placed candidate, outgoing Vice-President Jusuf Kalla, later demanded that his victory be annulled, saying the voting lists had been inaccurate and millions of votes miscounted.

But the Constitutional Court ruled in August that there was no evidence to support their allegations.



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