Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the projected winner of Indonesia's presidential election, will move quickly to prosecute major graft cases to counter the nation's reputation as one of the world's most corrupt countries, his advisers said Tuesday.
Aides to the retired army general said he would set a tone for his presidency by accelerating highly publicized corruption cases now languishing in the hands of prosecutors.
"We shall make that the first thing," Yudhoyono's running mate, Jusuf Kalla, said in an interview. "We will set a good example . . . and implement laws."
Yudhoyono huddled with much of his team Tuesday at his home in the Jakarta suburb of Bogor, one day after he scored a resounding runoff victory over incumbent Megawati Sukarnoputri.
With about three-quarters of the ballots counted Tuesday night, Yudhoyono was leading with 61 percent of vote, officials reported. That was consistent with an independent projection released earlier, which showed him winning with the same percentage. He is to be inaugurated Oct. 20 for a five-year term.
Though Megawati was once widely loved as the daughter of Indonesia's founding father, Sukarno, she could not overcome widespread criticism of virulent government corruption and her response to the country's economic uncertainty. The two contenders struck similar positions during the campaign, but Yudhoyono portrayed himself as a more dynamic leader, citing his experience first in the military and most recently as Megawati's chief security minister.
Yudhoyono's advisers said he planned to establish a formal presidential office that would be similar in function to the White House in the United States. This would centralize much of the policymaking that Megawati left to individual ministries and departments.
"The president will be much more involved in policy formulation," said Andi Mallarangeng, a political commentator being considered for the job of presidential spokesman. "So far we haven't had an office of the president. The president is alone over there."
This effort may involve setting up a U.S.-style council of economic advisers and moving the vice president's office into the presidential palace to take advantage of Kalla's popularity and experience as a social affairs minister.
Several advisers said the appointment of a new attorney general would be one of Yudhoyono's most significant early moves. He is looking at several candidates, including two lawyers with strong records of defending civil liberties, to replace an incumbent widely criticized as incompetent.
During the coming weeks, Yudhoyono's team intends to determine how to streamline regulations for businesses and reduce opportunities for corrupt bureaucrats to demand payoffs, according to a prominent member of the campaign team who may join the cabinet.
Yudhoyono has stressed that he hopes to attract new foreign investment, which has slipped in recent years mostly because of concerns over graft, by improving legal protections for businesses. Transparency International, a corruption watchdog organization, has identified Indonesia as one of the world's most corrupt countries.
As the chief security official under Megawati, Yudhoyono was often the main government contact for U.S. officials concerned about terrorism. He has called for tougher measures against extremist groups, including the regional Jemaah Islamiah organization, which has been blamed most recently for a car bombing this month outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta that killed nine people. But advisers said they did not expect him to push for a draconian internal security act similar to those in Singapore and Malaysia, which allow for indefinite detention of suspects without trial.
Though Indonesian police have arrested dozens of suspected Muslim militants in the last two years, some senior operatives have eluded capture. Sources close to Yudhoyono said he would reform operations of the police and the national intelligence agency to improve their cooperation.
Despite his electoral mandate, Yudhoyono could face difficulty winning support for his programs from parliament, where political parties allied with Megawati hold the majority. But members of his inner circle said they expected some legislators to defect to his camp after seeing the size of his victory. At the same time, his advisers are trying to repair strains with Megawati loyalists that emerged after he quit her cabinet in March.
"We have to try to reach out to Megawati and her friends," said Rachmat Witoelar, who ran Yudhoyono's campaign and will likely join his cabinet. "We need confidence-building measures with several parties in Megawati's coalition."