Obama asks for ideas for retirement, pledging to work for 'true democracy'

US President Barack Obama waves as he walks through the colonnade as he departs the Oval Office for the last time as president, at the White House in Washington, on Jan 20, 2017.
US President Barack Obama waves as he walks through the colonnade as he departs the Oval Office for the last time as president, at the White House in Washington, on Jan 20, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama on Friday (Jan 20) called on the public to offer ideas on what he should do in retirement, pledging to work for "true democracy" as he exits the White House.

Just hours before handing over the leadership of the United States to Mr Donald Trump, Mr Obama said in tweets and a video with his wife Michelle that they were accepting ideas from the public for what his new presidential centre in Chicago should do going ahead.

"I won't stop; I'll be right there with you as a citizen, inspired by your voices of truth and justice, good humour, and love," Mr Obama tweeted.

"As we look forward, I want our first steps to reflect what matters most to you. Share your thoughts with me at http://Obama.org."

In the video, Mrs Michelle Obama said that the first order of business for the Obamas as private citizens will be "to take a little break".

"We're finally going to get some sleep. And take some time to be with our family, and just be still for a little bit."

But then, they said, they will begin to work on projects out of Mr Obama's new presidential centre, which Mr Obama described as a "living, working centre for citizenship".

They asked people to send in their ideas on what they should to.

"Tell us about what we can achieve together," said Mrs Obama.

"Tell us about the young leaders, and companies, and organisations that inspire you. This will be your presidential centre just as much as it will be ours."

"So we want you to tell us what we should be thinking about... True democracy is a project that is much bigger than any one of us," Mr Obama added.

"It's a job for all of us."