Calling them “the chosen ones”, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono oversaw the swearing-in of 34 ministers and 3 minister-level officials at the Presidential Palace on Thursday.
“You are the chosen ones, credible and accountable and I consider you to be capable of doing your duties as members of the Second United Indonesia Cabinet,” he said in his speech.
He cautioned the new ministers to put the people above other considerations.
“Wherever you come from, I hope you put the interest of the government, the people and the nation above the interests of parties or groups,” the president said.
“There are almost certain to be debates and doubts” about whether the cabinet is up to its task, he added. “You don’t have to fight them, but answer them with hard work.”
In their oaths, the ministers pledged never to accept gifts from anyone in relation to their positions. They also promised to be “loyal to the 1945 Consitution,” to “meet all obligations” of their positions, and to “carry out my duties and obligations with full responsibility to my people and my country.”
While People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Taufiq Kiemas was in attendance, his wife, former president Megawati Soekarnoputri, was notably absent. Megawati also missed the presidential inauguration on Tuesday, claiming illness. She has not attended any functions with her husband since he won his new position early this month. Taufik has denied rumors of a rift between them.