Even if Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono - the apparent winner in Indonesia's presidential race - accomplishes little else on his reform agenda, any progress towards curbing the country's rampant corruption would be welcome. Indonesia's economy is expected to post 5 per cent growth this year, but it has lagged behind its regional counterparts since the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The absence of a full recovery from the crash has been blamed in large part on incomplete efforts to root out graft and influence-peddling in what could be one of the region's most vibrant economies. Mr Susilo's campaign promises in other areas, including the economy and terrorism, might have been vague, but in the area of corruption his advisers are already naming names and drawing up lists of corporations that will face investigation. He has also promised to pursue former bankers who have paid back only a small amount of the emergency loans they misused during the financial crisis. If the electorate turned on Mr Susilo's opponent, President Megawati Sukarnoputri, for any reason, it was for her lack of resolve in tackling this admittedly tough problem. Under much pressure, she finally set up an independent panel earlier this year with the power to investigate and prosecute corruption cases, only to deny it the needed budgetary and political support. An anti-corruption court, meanwhile, has failed to get off the ground. Mr Susilo comes in with a mandate to move more swiftly, but his challenges include a parliament in which his party is a minor player, holding only 10 per cent of the seats. He sought election without a strong political machine behind him, in a campaign where personality and name recognition among the electorate played a big role. Passing the needed reforms in a divided parliament - where even Golkar, the largest party, has a tenuous grip - is likely to be a different matter. Looking at Mr Susilo's track record alone, it is difficult to know whether he is up to this task. But the Indonesian people have decided, rightly, that it was time for a change. Even beyond the corruption issue, Ms Megawati was appearing less and less like a politician who would take the country in a new direction - as she did when she burst onto the political scene in the late 1990s. These days, she seems more like a part of the establishment - and unlikely to make any bold moves on the economic or any other fronts. The overwhelming vote in favour of Mr Susilo is a vote for change, but quite what kind of president he will be remains to be seen. As a career military man who served with distinction during the Suharto era, Mr Susilo has managed to avoid being tainted by the same human rights and graft charges that dog many others from the army's inner circle. He has pledged to uphold civilian rule and has raised hopes he will end the Indonesian military's behind-the-scenes involvement in politics once and for all. However, his talk of giving the army a bigger role in chasing terrorists and bringing in laws allowing detention without trial are sure to spark worries about a return to the bad old days. There are vital differences between now and the recent past, however. For one thing, the high turnouts in all three of the country's elections this year indicate how deeply democracy is taking root in post-Suharto Indonesia. The public is unlikely to tolerate a return to strongman politics, while there is nothing to indicate that Mr Susilo might use the army to hold on to power once his mandate is lost. The next test for Mr Susilo will be naming his cabinet. An attorney-general who is willing to go after the big fish in graft cases is one thing foreign investors and the Indonesian public will be looking for. The retention of the finance minister, who worked out the country's debt problem and got Indonesia back into the good graces of the International Monetary Fund, will be another. His campaign promises have raised expectations. Meeting them will require follow-through and more than a little political skill.