Indonesia has decided to increase fuel prices by more than 30% in an attempt to save the economy more than $8 billion in 2015.
Prices were raised by 2,000 rupiah ($0.16) per litre, with gasoline now costing 8,500 rupiah and diesel 7,500 rupiah.
The subsidized fuel prices in Indonesia are among the cheapest in the world.
The unpopular move sparked small protests and long queues at petrol stations in the capital, Jakarta.
Previous price increases have sparked violent protests and reports said young people had clashed with police at a demonstration hotspot before the announcement on November 17.
New President Joko Widodo, who took office in October, said the increase would bolster government finances and help with the nation’s trade imbalance.
“The country has needed a budget for infrastructure, healthcare and education but instead spent it on subsidizing fuel,” Joko Widodo told reporters on November 17.
Indonesia’s $23 billion fuel subsidy bill is the main reason behind its budget deficit. It is also behind the nation’s trade imbalance as Indonesia imports much of its fuel.
The economy also grew at the slowest pace in five years in the third quarter at 5.01%, compared to a year ago.
The rise in fuel prices could push up inflation to 7.3% this year and the impact would last until next year, the government said.
Inflation jumped to nearly 10% in mid-2013 after fuel prices were increased.
Economists said the country’s central bank, Bank Indonesia, might need to increase interest rates this month to cope with the rising inflation.
Bank Indonesia has not changed the benchmark rate since November 2013.
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Joko Widodo has been sworn in as Indonesia’s new president in a Jakarta ceremony.
The 53-year-old charismatic outsider who won Indonesia’s presidency made a call for national reconciliation and unity as he was sworn in.
Popularly known as Jokowi, he took the oath of office at a ceremony held at parliament in Jakarta.
Joko Widodo was then cheered through the streets as he made his way on a horse-drawn carriage to the state palace.
The former Jakarta governor is the first president not to have come from the military or political elite.
Joko Widodo has been sworn in as Indonesia’s new president in a Jakarta ceremony
Elected in July, the former furniture exporter and son of a carpenter now leads the world’s third-largest democracy, with a population of about 250 million people.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Australia’s PM Tony Abbott were among those who attended the inauguration.
After reading the oath of office, he told Indonesians that “unity and working hand in hand are prerequisites for us to be a great nation. We will never become a great nation if we are stuck with division”.
“This is a historic moment for us all to move together, to work and work,” he said.
Joko Widodo then travelled through the capital in a horse-drawn carriage to the state palace with Vice-President Jusuf Kalla.
He was met by former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the palace. The two had met on Sunday for a tour of the estate.
An outdoor concert featuring rock bands is scheduled for Monday night, with Joko Widodo expected to appear on stage.
About 24,000 police and military personnel have been deployed, but correspondents say that the mood in the capital is upbeat.
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Joko Widodo has been declared the winner of Indonesia’s highly contested presidential election.
The election commission said Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo – widely known as Jokowi – won 53.15% of the vote with his rival, ex-general Prabowo Subianto, on 46.85%.
Earlier, Prabowo Subianto alleged widespread electoral fraud and vowed to challenge the result.
Joko Widodo has promised a decisive break with Indonesia’s authoritarian past and better social welfare for the poor.
Before the official results were confirmed, the chairperson of Joko Widodo’s PDI-P party, Megawati Sukarnoputri, claimed victory on behalf of the candidate and his running-mate Jusuf Kalla.
“I want to declare that we, the party that supports and puts forward Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla, has won,” Megawati Sukarnoputri told reporters on Tuesday evening.
Indonesia’s politics has traditionally been dominated by establishment figures from the political elite and military.
Joko Widodo has been declared the winner of Indonesia’s highly contested presidential election
A former furniture-maker who grew up in a small village, Joko Jokowi, 53, is seen as a clean politician in touch with the masses. The Jakarta governor has proved to be particularly popular with urban and rural youth.
Joko Jokowi’s rival Prabowo Subianto is a former general closely associated with the traditional elite. He had the backing of media tycoons.
A former son-in-law of Indonesia’s ex-leader Suharto, Prabowo Subianto has faced multiple questions over alleged human rights abuses.
Jubilant supporters took to Twitter with congratulatory messages for Joko Widodo, using the hashtag #presidenbaru (New President).
Meanwhile about 100 supporters of Prabowo Subianto held a peaceful protest about 1,000ft from the election commission building in Jakarta, declaring Prabowo Subianto the real president, the Associated Press reports.
Prabowo Subianto said earlier on Tuesday that his camp would not resort to violence as it challenges the results.
Security was tight for the announcement, with more than 250,000 police officers on duty across the nation, amid fears that supporters from both camps would clash.
About 130 million votes were cast on July 9 following an intense election campaign.
It was followed by a controversial vote-counting period in which both candidates raised concerns about voting irregularities.
But Joko Widodo’s winning margin of 6% win is seen as decisive by analysts.
They say that even if Prabowo Subianto’s claim of electoral fraud in certain areas proved to be true, this would be unlikely to change the overall results.
Prabowo Subianto has three days to file an appeal with Indonesia’s constitutional court. The court has till August 22 to make a ruling on the results.
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Indonesia will name its new president, following a hotly-contested election that saw both candidates claiming victory.
Most “quick counts” after the July 9 election placed Joko Widodo, the popular Jakarta governor, in the lead.
However, his rival Prabowo Subianto, a former general under dictator Suharto, said other polls showed he had won.
The Election Commission has since been tallying votes. Outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has urged both parties to respect the result.
Security will be tight for the announcement, with more than 250,000 police officers on duty across the nation.
There are fears the result could trigger violence between rival groups of supporters.
Both candidates, Prabowo Subianto and Joko Widodo, claim victory in Indonesia’s presidential election
Both candidates have raised concerns about voting irregularities during the past two weeks, as ballots from nearly 500,000 polling stations have been tallied.
Reliable polls point to a win for Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, by about five percentage points.
Official results from the sub-district and provincial levels that have been released so far also indicate Joko Widodo has won by between three and five percentage points.
But Prabowo Subianto’s camp have said they will not accept official results until allegations of cheating are probed.
Prabowo Subianto told reporters on Sunday that if the Election Commission did not investigate possible voting fraud, that was a “crime” that “very much calls into question the legitimacy of the whole process”.
He called on the Election Commission to delay announcing the result – a request the commission rejected.
The outgoing leader, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has called for calm, urging all Indonesians “to safeguard the final chapter of the election process”.
“It is important to value our unity, brotherhood and togetherness. When a nation is divided, to reunite is not easy,” he said at a meeting on Sunday with both candidates.
On Monday Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono – whose party backs Prabowo Subianto – also appeared to suggest that he should accept the results, saying: “Conceding defeat is noble.”
Candidates have two weeks to appeal to the constitutional court following the announcement of official results.
About 130 million votes were cast on July 9 following an intense election campaign.
The race has been seen as a contest between new and old-style politics. Joko Widodo draws his support from the grass-roots and is unconnected to the traditional elite.
Prabowo Subianto, meanwhile, is the son-in-law of Suharto and has faced multiple questions over alleged human rights abuses under his regime.
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