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Hamzah: PPP not set on Islamic state JAKARTA - United Development Party (PPP) leader Hamzah Haz asserted on Saturday his party did not want to turn Indonesia into an Islamic state. "The first principle (of Pancasila is belief in) one God, which is a declaration that Indonesia is a religious nation," he told thousands of supporters during a campaign rally at the Bung Karno Sports Complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta.
PPP is one of five Muslim-based political parties contesting the elections. The other four are the Crescent Star Party (PBB), the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the Indonesian Nahdlatul Community Party (PPNUI) and the Reform Star Party (PBR). Tens of thousands of party supporters, most of them wearing the party's green T-shirts, gathered at the sports complex on Saturday for the PPP's final day of campaigning in the capital ahead of the April 5 legislative election.
Most of the supporters, however, did not enter the main stadium where Hamzah, who is also Vice President, delivered his speech. Many of the PPP backers took to the streets on motorcycles, in buses and on trucks, waving flags and shouting their support for the party. These PPP street convoys caused serious traffic congestion in the area. The Freedom Bull National Party (PNBK) also held a campaign rally in the city on Saturday.
During the rally, which was attended by party leader Eros Djarot and thousands of supporters, several of the PNBK's legislative candidates pledged not to become involved in corruption and to fight for the interests of the people if elected. Ugiek Sugihardjo, previously a member of the ruling Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said he was prepared to be jailed if he ever became involved in corruption. The United Democratic Nationhood Party (PPDK) held a campaign rally at the Pancasila University soccer field in Central Jakarta.
About 2,000 people attended the rally, drawn by party leader Andi Mallarangeng and popular dangdut singer Itje Trisnawati. Andi told supporters not to vote for parties that had made promises in the past that they failed to live up to. Campaigners for the New Indonesia Alliance Party (PPIB) called for a change in the political scene, saying this was the only way to revive the economy. The campaigners included legislative hopefuls Fikri Jufri, Hendry Tjandra and Rosita S. Noer, and party secretary-general Sumitro.
"What we need is a clean leader who will be able to sweep up all the dirty work of past governments," Sumitro told 2,000 supporters. In Medan, North Sumatra, Amien Rais expressed optimism his National Mandate Party (PAN) would emerge from the legislative election as the second largest party. He said reform in the country had stalled because the 1999 elections had produced few reform-minded leaders.
In Cirebon, West Java, possible Golkar presidential candidate Surya Paloh continued to hammer away on the theme of corruption, even though the party's central board earlier warned him not to raise the issue during the campaign. "In China, corruptors are shot dead. It is very odd that I was warned not to raise the issue," he told thousands of Golkar supporters. In Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara, three supporters of the Pancasila Patriots' Party were injured when a group of people threw stones at party supporters heading to a campaign rally. Local police said the incident, which is under investigation, was a criminal act and had no connection to the elections.



Posted in Elections @ 28 March 2004 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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