Yudhoyono sworn in for second term

BatikWhatever you think of the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono – or ‘SBY’, as people here call him – he’s here to stay. After winning the election last July, he is set to enjoy another five years in power. There was an interesting article about him and the challenges he faces on the BBC News website yesterday.

There was some great political vocabulary in the article that I would like to have a look at. The first piece is in the title:

Indonesia leader starts new term

In this case, a ‘term‘ is the time period for which someone works in a certain political position. We sometimes call it a ‘term of office‘, too. In this case, his ‘term of office‘ will be the next five years.

There were some great words in the first and second paragraph, too. We have seen all of them before on the World of Words. ‘Sworn in‘ was in this article, as was ‘polls’. We have also seen ‘clamp down on‘ before, meaning to eliminate or stop an activity from happening.

In the third paragraph, there is an interesting expression where the author mentions a ‘state body’. This expression means an organisation or agency run by the government.

Slightly later on, the expression ‘poverty line‘ is mentioned. The ‘poverty line‘ is the minimum income required to live adequately in a country. The current level set for the poverty line by the World Bank is about one dollar a day. If you earn less than this, you are below the poverty line, if you earn more you are above it.

There’s another really nice specific piece of vocabulary further into the article. Indonesia is described as an ‘archipelago‘. This means a chain of islands. There are thousands of islands in Indonesia and that helps make it a really diverse place. In fact, part of the national philosophy is ‘Unity in Diversity’.

This paragraph, slightly later in the article, is packed with great expressions:

Analysts have said President Yudhoyono must appoint technocrats and professionals rather than career politicians to his new cabinet in order to attract flagging foreign investment.

A ‘technocrat‘ is a real expert who is active in party politics, whereas a ‘career politician‘ is someone who is in politics to make a lot of money or just to become powerful. The ‘cabinet‘ is the group of politicians making up the main government. In this situation, ‘flagging‘ foreign investment means that foreign investment is decreasing or not developing to a satisfactory level.

The last interesting word in this article is right near the end where it is mentioned that some of the other candidates tried to have the election results ‘annulled‘. This just means that they tried to have them dared ‘not valid’.

Do you have a lot of ‘career politicians‘ in your country?

Today’s image is by B.S.K.

Aquino Eyes up Presidency

The Philippines is one part of South-East Asia I have not visited yet. I’ve heard it’s a beautiful place and they have some very interesting martial arts there, too. They are also in an interesting political situation which led me to this article on the Al Jazeera website. The headline was the first thing that caught my eye:

Aquino eyes Philippine presidency

When the author uses ‘eyes‘ in this title, he means ‘intends to pursue‘. Quite often, we use it as a phrasal verb ‘eye up‘ meaning the same thing.

There’s also some interesting vocabulary in the first paragraph where it is mentioned that Benigno Aquino would ‘run‘ for president. When we talk about ‘running‘ for a position, we mean trying to be nominated or selected for that position.

The next interesting phrase is in the third paragraph when it the place where his mother was ‘sworn in‘. When a president is ‘sworn in‘ he or she makes a vow to be loyal to the country and strive to be a good president. It’s basically the point at witch he or she accepts the presidency.

In the following paragraph, there is another interesting expression when the author mentions a forty-day ‘period of mourning‘. To ‘mourn‘ is when people show sorrow of grief about a someone’s death. Mourning customs and traditions vary but it is very common to wear black clothes during this time as an indication that one is ‘in mourning‘.

There is some more interesting vocabulary slightly later on in this paragraph:

He is set to lead the opposition Liberal party in the May 2010 polls, with Gloria Arroyo, the current president, mandated by the constitution to step down at the end of her six-year term.

The first interesting word here is ‘mandated‘, meaning ‘ordered’ and the other is the phrasal verb ‘step down‘ meaning to resign and allow someone else to fill the position. We sometimes use ‘step aside‘ to mean the same thing.

In the next-but-one paragraph, there are some more interesting words:

Joseph Estrada, the former president and movie star who was ousted from power in 2001 and subsequently jailed for plunder, has said he wants to run again.

In this paragraph, ‘ousted‘ means forced out and ‘plunder‘ means stealing. In this case, I believe it was government funds that he was alleged to have stolen.

There are just two more words I would like to look at in this article. The first is ‘tycoon‘ meaning a very wealthy, successful businessperson. It’s quite similar to the word ‘mogul‘ as discussed in this post. The last word is ‘polls‘ which we have also seen before in this post about the recent elections in Japan.