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Megawati to seek re-election JAKARTA - Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri says she would run for re-election in 2004, predicting that tens of millions of Indonesians will support her despite rising criticism of her 19-month tenure in office. Her comments to members of her political party signal the opening shots in her campaign for next year's elections, and showed how seriously she is taking the threats to her presidency.
Thousands of rowdy anti-government protesters have hit streets across Indonesia over the past three weeks demonstrating against rises in fuel and utility prices, while several leading politicians have called on Megawati to step down. The speech was the first in which Megawati, who rarely comments on political matters, publicly alluded to her involvement in the upcoming ballot.
"Those who want to riot, who want violence, who are trying to provoke the situation, I want to challenge them. Are they brave enough ... to face me directly in the forthcoming elections," she told hundreds of members of her Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle. Megawati became president after her predecessor Abdurrahman Wahid was impeached for incompetence after 18 months in the job.
She accused Indonesia's media of bias in their coverage of the price hikes, which the government partially rolled backed on Monday in an attempt to diffuse the protests, seen the first serious sign of opposition to Megawati's rule. Most political analysts expect Megawati -- the daughter of Indonesia's founding father and first president Sukarno -- to be among the favorites to win the 2004 ballot.



Posted in Elections @ 22 January 2003 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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