Indonesia's third President Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, also known as B. J. Habibie, has died at the age of 83, according to media reports. Habibie was the successor of Suharto, who ruled the country for 31 years but was forced out due to student riots and economic turmoil. His presidency is seen as a transition to the post-Suharto era.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has also condoled B. J. Habibie's death in a tweet posted in the Indonesian language.
Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun. Selamat jalan Bapak BJ Habibie. pic.twitter.com/9hXUzH1pqw— Joko Widodo (@jokowi) September 11, 2019
B. J. Habibie will be fondly remembered by many for how he was given the reigns by dictator Suharto and did very well under the circumstances.
After becoming the president, he liberalized Indonesia's press and political party laws and held an early democratic election in 1999, which resulted in the end of his presidency.
Although initially opposed to the idea of East Timorese independence and in favor of giving East Timor special autonomy, Habibie did conduct the referendum in 1999 where the East Timorese people overwhelmingly chose independence in mostly free and fair elections.