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Thursday, May 21, 1998 Published at 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK

Speech that ended an epoch

The text of President Suharto's resignation speech, broadcast live from Jakarta's Merdeka Palace on May 21, and the oath of office sworn by his successor immediately afterwards.

President Suharto: "I decide to resign" (0'30")
"In the name of God, the most merciful and compassionate! Fellow countrymen: Peace be upon you. In the past few days, I have closely watched the latest national situation, especially the people's aspirations for reforms in all fields of our national life.

"Based on my understanding of such aspirations and encouraged by my conviction that reform should be carried out in an orderly, peaceful, constitutional way for the sake of the national unity and cohesion as well as continued national development, I announced the plan to set up a Reforms Committee and reshuffle the Seventh Development Cabinet.

"However, facts have shown that the Reforms Committee cannot be set up because there has been an inadequate response to the plan.

"Based on the intention to carry out reforms in the best possible way, I am of the opinion that due to the failure to set up the Reforms Committee, the plan to reshuffle the Seventh Development Cabinet is no longer needed.

Cannot carry out his duties

"In view of the above reasons, I believe it is very hard for me to carry out my state duties and national development.

"Thus, seriously considering Article 8 of the 1945 Constitution and the views of the leadership of the DPR [Council of People's Representatives] and the leadership of DPR factions, I have decided to resign as president of the Republic of Indonesia with effect from Thursday, 21st May 1998.

"I present this letter of resignation to all of you, DPR leaders who are also leaders of the People's Consultative Assembly, at a get-together session this morning.

"In accordance with Article 8 of the 1945 Constitution, Vice-President Bakharuddin Habibie will continue the rest of my 1998-2003 term.

Apologises for his errors

"For the people's assistance and support during my term to rule this Indonesian nation and country, I would like to say thank you and apologize for any mistakes or shortcomings on my part.

"May the Indonesian people continue to prosper along with their Pancasila ideology and the 1945 Constitution. As from today, the Seventh Development Cabinet is also declared as dissolved and I would like to thank all its ministers.

"As the situation does not permit an oath-taking ceremony at the DPR building and to avoid a power vacuum in the running of state affairs, the Vice-President will right now take his presidential oath of office in front of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Indonesia.

BJ Habibie's oath of office

Yusuf Habibie: "I dedicate myself to our country"
"In the name of God, the most merciful and compassionate. Based on Article 9 of the 1945 Constitution, before I assume the presidential post, I would like to carry out my constitutional duty by taking the oath in accordance with my religion, as follows:

"In the name of God, I am taking this oath to fulfil the presidential duties to the best of my ability and in the fairest possible manner.

"I will firmly uphold the Constitution and adhere strictly to all laws and regulations, and serve the country and nation."

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