Road to Precidency
Yudhoyono's manifesto for the future of Indonesia, summarized in a book titled "Vision For Change" written by him and distributed for free during the campaign, was built on four pillars: prosperity, peace, justice and democracy. At the top of his agenda was a plan for increasing economic prosperity, aiming for economic growth of at least 7% and a revival of small and medium-sized enterprises. He also put forward policies to offer better credit lines, to cut red tape, improve labor laws and to root out corruption from the top down. He told an interviewer:
“If we are to reduce poverty, create jobs, increase purchasing power and rebuild infrastructure, then we will need new capital. Of course, to be able to invite investment, I have to improve the climate — legal certainties, political stability, law and order, sound tax policies, customs policies, good labor management. I will improve the guarantees to encourage investors to come to Indonesia"(wikipedia)
Yudhoyono's perceived reputation for intellectual and communication skills capabilities made him the front-runner throughout the election campaign, according to many opinion polls and the opinions of election commentators, a long way ahead of the other candidates (Megawati, Wiranto, Amien Rais, and Hamzah). On 5 July2004, Yudhoyono participated in the first round of the presidential election coming first with 33% of the votes. However, 50% of votes were required for a new president and vice-president to be elected, and this meant Yudhoyono going into a run-off against Megawati.
In the run-off, Yudhoyono faced a challenge from Megawati on 20 September 2004 , Yudhoyono participated in the run-off election, winning it with 60.87% of the vote. Yudhoyono was inaugurated as president on 20 October 2004.
The day of his inauguration, Yudhoyono announced his new cabinet, ”United Indonesia Cabinet". Consisting of 36 ministers, from the Democratic Party, Golkar and the PPP, PBB, PKB, PAN, PKP, and PKS. Professionals were also named in the cabinet, most of them taking on ministries in the economic field. The military weere also included, with five former members appointed to the cabinet. As per Yudhoyono's promise during the election, four of the cabinet appointees were female.
In late 2007, Yudhoyono led Indonesia into a free trade agreement with Japan. Ay the same time he helped poor people by launching "BLT" (irect cash support) as a compensation fuel increasing.
In July 2005, Yudhoyono launched the Schools Operational Assistance (BOS) program. Under this arrangement, the government gives money to principals to financially assist in the running of schools. Should BOS be able to provide significant financial assistance to the school then the school to pick lower fees or, if they are able to, to abolish fees altogether. In June 2006, Yudhoyono launched Books BOS which provides funds for the purchase of textbooks. And in March 2009, he launched gratis school for all government Primary and Secondary School. (sekolah gratis)
In January 2005, Yudhoyono launched the Poor Community Health Insurance (Askeskin). Askeskin is a program directed at poor people which allows them access to healthcare.
Yudhoyono with the Vice President Jusuf Kala. Although he had overwhelmingly won the Presidency, Yudhoyono was still weak in the People Representative Council (DPR). The Democratic Party combined with all of its coalition partners were still too weak to contend with the legislative muscle of Golkar and the PDI-P as his opposition.
Kalla's victory posed a dilemma for Yudhoyono. Although it now enabled Yudhoyono to pass legislation, Kalla's new position meant that in one sense, he was now more powerful than Yudhoyono.
Dealings with Suharto
On May 6, 2005, Yudhoyono visited Suharto at hospital when the latter suffered from intestinal bleeding. On 5 January 2007, Yudhoyono and his wife visited Suharto, who was again hospitalized due to anaemia as well as heart and kidney problems. After the visit, Yudhoyono made an appeal to all Indonesians to pray for Suharto's recovery.
Responding to some publicly-made requests to Yudhoyono to granting a pardon for all Suharto's possible past mistakes in governing the country, presidential spokesperson Andi Mallarangeng said, "A visit from an incumbent [president] to a hospitalized former president is something normal. However, this show of humanity and legal step are two different things”.
During his Presidency, Yudhoyono further consolidated his position within the Democratic Party. In May 2005, at PD's first National Congress, Yudhoyono was elected as Chairman of the Executive Board (Ketua Dewan Pembina. From this position, Yudhoyono has the highest authority, superseding that of chairman.
MR. YUDHOYONO ON CAMPAIGN
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In July 2005, Yudhoyono appointed Indonesian Police General, Sutanto as Chief of Police. On 28 December 2007, Yudhoyono installed General Djoko Santoso as the Indonesian Military commander.
On 17 August 2007, Indonesia by initiative of Yudhoyono in Jakarta, proposed that eight nations, homes to some 80% of the world's tropical rainforest join diplomatic ranks amid increasing concern over global warming. Indonesia led the summit of eight countries (on September 24 in New York) – Brazil, Cameroon, Congo, Costa Rica, Gabon, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea. On 3-15 December 2007, Indonesia hosted the 13th Conferences of the Parties (COP-13) under the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on Bali