Yudhoyono sworn in for second term
Liberal ex-general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was sworn in as Indonesia's president on Tuesday after winning a second five-year term with promises of economic growth and political reform.
The softly-spoken leader swore on the Koran, Islam's holy book, to uphold the constitution during a ceremony in the national assembly in Jakarta that was broadcast around the archipelago of 234 million people.
"By Allah I swear I will adhere to the constitution as faithfully as possible, and will commit myself to the country and the people," Yudhoyono said.
A massive security blanket descended on the centre of the capital, with about 20,000 police backed by armoured vehicles on hand to secure the inauguration.
The event was attended by the leaders of Australia, Brunei, East Timor, Malaysia and Singapore, as well as senior officials from around the world.
Yudhoyono, 60, trounced former president Megawati Sukarnoputri in 2004 to become the mainly Muslim country's first directly elected head of state since the fall of late military strongman Suharto in 1998.
He did it again in July, easily defeating Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chief Megawati as well as his vice president, the Golkar Party's Jusuf Kalla, to become the first Indonesian leader to be democratically re-elected.
Cementing his place as the figurehead of the post-Suharto reform era, Yudhoyono's centrist Democratic Party won the most seats in parliament in April general elections just eight years after it was founded.
He has promised to crack down on corruption, boost infrastructure spending and continue structural reforms to improve governance and accountability.
As leader of the world's third largest democracy, he also intends to wield greater international influence in areas such as the Group of 20 and global talks on climate change.
"Indonesia will continue to be on the frontline of creating a better world order," Yudhoyono said.
The doctor of agricultural studies -- who likes to write love songs in his spare time -- has also pledged to maintain strong growth in Southeast Asia's biggest economy despite the global downturn.
"In the middle of the economic crisis, Indonesia can still grow positively. But we cannot stay idle, as our tasks are far from over," he said.