Mon, Oct 21, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Jokowi sworn in for second term

AUSTERE CEREMONY:The ceremony for the Indonesian leader’s swearing in took place under the shadow of a knife attack, in which the security minister was hurt


Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who rose from poverty and pledged to champion democracy, fight entrenched corruption and modernize the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, was yesterday sworn for his second and final five-year term with a pledge to take bolder actions.

Army troops and police, along with armored vehicles, firetrucks and ambulances, were deployed across the vast capital, Jakarta, and major roads were closed in a departure from the more relaxed atmosphere of Widodo’s 2014 inauguration.

An Oct. 10 knife attack by a Muslim militant couple that wounded Indonesian Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto set off a security crackdown.

Known for his down-to-earth style, Widodo, 58, opted for an austere ceremony at the heavily guarded parliament without the festive parade that transported him after his inauguration five years ago on a horse-drawn carriage in downtown Jakarta, where he was then cheered on by thousands of waving supporters.

On his way to the ceremony yesterday, Widodo got out of his convoy with some of his security escorts and shook the hands of supporters, who yelled his name, waved Indonesia’s red-and-white flag and called him bapak, or father.

“This is the second time ... most importantly, we must work together immediately to bring Indonesia to prosperity,” Widodo told reporters before leaving for parliament, adding that he had completed picking all members of his Cabinet.

Western and Asian leaders and special envoys flew in for the event, including Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山). US President Donald Trump sent US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao (趙小蘭) for the ceremony in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy and a member of the G20 bloc of nations.

Popularly known as Jokowi, Widodo is the son of a furniture maker who grew up with his family in a rented bamboo shack on the banks of a flood-prone river in Solo city on Java island.

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