Indonesia profile

Outgoing president: Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Mr Yudhoyono has made the fight against terrorism a key priority

Former army general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono won Indonesia's first-ever direct presidential elections in September 2004, in what was hailed as the first peaceful transition of power in Indonesia's history.

He was re-elected in July 2009 in a landslide victory on the back of improved security and strong growth in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.

Barred from standing for a third term, Mr Yudhoyono looks set to be replaced by the winner of a tight race between Jakarta governor Joko Widodo and ex-army general Prabowo Subianto in the 2014 presidential election.

Mr Yudhoyono has cultivated an image as a tough corruption fighter with high moral integrity; pledges to crack down even harder on corruption were one of the main planks of his 2009 election campaign.

But the sentencing in 2012 of a former Democratic Party treasurer on corruption charges caused embarrassment for the president's ruling party.

Mr Yudhoyono is credited with having ushered in an era of financial stability. The global financial crisis of 2008-9 did not hit Indonesia as badly as some of its neighbours, though millions of Indonesian citizens still live under the poverty line.

He has identified the fight against terrorism as a key challenge, and has warned that Indonesia's reputation for pluralism is threatened by a growing trend of religious extremism.

The first year of Mr Yudhoyono's first term brought perhaps his biggest challenge, the 2004 Asian tsunami disaster. His administration also won international plaudits for signing a peace deal in 2005 with separatist rebels in Aceh province.

Mr Yudhoyono, a fluent English speaker, studied for his master's degree in the US. Rising through the ranks under former President Suharto, he led Indonesia's peacekeeping contingent in Bosnia in the 1990s.

Mr Yudhoyono also completed several tours of duty in the Indonesian-occupied East Timor.

Married with two sons, the president has released several albums featuring his own love songs, some of them now covered by Indonesian boy bands.

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