Regime change in Indonesia

Congratulations to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is not only the newly-elected President of Indonesia, but is also a tongue-twister given to Javanese school children, who in order to pass primary school must say the name without either laughing or doing the gun-trigger action when saying the Bambang bit.

Anyhow, Yudhoyono seems like a major step forward after the ineffective and clumsy rule of Megawati Sukarnoputri. Megawati seemed unable to properly combine the need for concensus with the need for action, and was painfully bogged down in petty politics and saw the nation slide backwards under her rule. It's no surprise that Indonesians voted her out of office after a single term.

Yudhoyono seems like a doer as well as a thinker, and given the challenges facing the archapelago, this is a positive step. As well as tackling terrorism in his midst, SBY (yep, that's what they call him) needs to reignite a fragile Indonesian economy and continue with many of the reforms that started after the regional economic 'crisis' of 1997.

There's always danger in having a military man in a position of political power, but given that he seems to be a free thinker with his military experience very much in his background, he is a decent choice.


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