Jakarta (dpa) – Indonesia’s new president Joko Widodo played down expectations of radical change in the early days of his administration, as he began his first full day in office on Tuesday.
In his first television interview as president late Monday, Joko acknowledged he shouldered a “big burden” because the people’s expectations were high.
“The people want a huge transformation soon, but we must remember everything has a process,” Joko told Metro TV in an interview on the lawn of the presidential palace.
“It’s not as easy as flipping the palm of your hand.”
Joko was due to meet Papuan New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, the presidential office said, a day after his inauguration was marked by street parades and live music concerts.
Local media said he might announce his cabinet line-up later Tuesday.
Joko, a 53-year-old former furniture exporter and Jakarta governor, is the first Indonesian president who is not a member of the military or established political elite.
In his inauguration speech on Monday, he vowed to make Indonesia “politically and economically independent” and urged all strains of society to work together to help achieve the “huge tasks” ahead.