JAKARTA – Indonesia’s Joko Widodo took over as president of the world’s third-largest democracy on Monday with supporters’ hopes high but pressing economic problems and sceptical rivals set to test the former furniture businessman.
Widodo’s narrow victory over a former general in July’s election marked the first time in the young democracy’s history that a president was elected from outside the established military and political elite.
“I swear by Allah to fulfil the duties of President of the Republic of Indonesia to the best of my capabilities and in the fairest way possible,” Widodo said, reading the oath of office, at a ceremony in a packed parliament.
US Secretary of State John Kerry attended the inauguration along with various Asian leaders including the prime ministers of neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore, the Sultan of Brunei and Australia’s prime minister.
Widodo, 53, a former mayor of the city of Solo and governor of the capital, Jakarta, is untested on the national and international stages but he already faces resistance from the establishment to his transparent, can-do approach to governance.MYNEWSHUB