Susilo declared Indonesian president

Indonesian election officials have formally declared former general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as the country's new president.

    Susilo says he will get down to work soon

    Susilo secured a landslide win with 60.6% of the vote compared to 39.4% for incumbent Megawati Sukarnoputri in the country's first direct presidential elections.

     

    With the count of ballot papers from the last of Indonesia's 32 provinces complete, the result of the 20 September ballot was formally declared by election officials on Monday.

     

    Representatives of Susilo, who will be inaugurated as the country's sixth president on 20 October, said the 55-year-old was expected to deliver a formal acceptance speech late on Monday.

     

    Grateful 

    Susilo is favoured for his common
    touch and polished appearance

    Earlier, Susilo said he was grateful for the result and said he was prepared for his new job.

    "I will get down to work soon so that the people will know that the new government will start to work immediately to reach the desired goals," he said.

    Both Megawati and her rival, who served as her security minister until March when he quit to enter the election race, had held off declaring victory or conceding defeat although the outcome has been known for days.

    The run-off, the third and final leg of elections for Indonesia this year, was seen as a triumph for democracy in the country, six years after former president Suharto's fall plunged the country into political and economic uncertainty.

    Megawati deserted

    President Megawati, the daughter of founding father Sukarno, was credited with restoring economic stability and had enjoyed immense popularity as a symbol of reform in the post-Suharto era.

    Megawati had failed to improve
    the country's economy

    But voters deserted her in droves in the latest

    polls, which were seen as a judgment on her failure to inject new life into the graft-plagued economy and a rejection of her image as an increasingly aloof and uncaring leader.

    Susilo campaigned on a ticket of economic reform and battling corruption, but his polished appearance and common touch were seen as the key factors in winning over voters disillusioned with Megawati's hard edges.

    The former general, who as security minister led efforts to track down those behind the October 2002 Bali bombings, is also favoured by the international community.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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