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Joko calls for unity in inauguration speech

Indonesia's first leader from outside the political and military elite, Mr Joko Widodo, was sworn in as president yesterday.

The inauguration, which was attended by foreign dignitaries, including US Secretary of State John Kerry and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, capped a remarkable rise for the politician who was brought up in a riverside slum.

Mr Joko, 53, won the presidency in July after a close race against controversial former general Prabowo Subianto.

After taking the oath in parliament, Mr Joko travelled through Jakarta on a horse-drawn carriage, before arriving at the presidential palace where he watched a military parade with outgoing leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

In his inauguration speech to the legislature, he called for unity following the most bitterly fought election in Indonesian history.

"Unity and working hand in hand are prerequisites for us to be a great nation," he said.

Mr Joko is expected to announce his new cabinet later in the week. - AFP.