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19 parties reject election results JAKARTA - Nineteen Indonesian political parties rejected the results of the April 5 parliamentary election, saying the process had been riddled with problems. "We have decided to reject the election results and demanded that they be cancelled," a spokesman for the group, Adnan Buyung Nasution, told a press conference after a meeting of representatives from the 19 parties. "There were too many cases of negligence and mistakes," Nasution said.
The two largest parties, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) led by President Megawati Sukarnoputri and the Golkar party did not take part in the meeting. The group of 19 include the National Awakening Party of former president Abdurrahman Wahid, Vice President Hamzah Haz's United Development Party and other smaller parties. The Democrat Party of former security minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was absent from today's meeting even though its representative attended an earlier meeting yesterday in which the group demand a recount of the votes.
The announcement came as 67.2 million votes have been counted electronically nationwide, with PDI-P leading with 20.6 per cent, according to the website of the country's electoral commission. Golkar trails in the second place with 20.2 per cent. More than 147 million people were eligible to cast their votes in Monday's elections, only the second free vote since the 1950s. No turnout figure has been released but some estimates put it around 80 per cent.
European Union observers called the election credible and said it was "an important step in the consolidation of Indonesia's democracy." Australian monitors said in a statement that the vast majority of eligible Indonesians "cast a generally free and fair vote." Parties have criticised the election commission, saying that a large number of eligible voters were not registered. Some regions did not receive election equipment on schedule and voting had to be delayed to yesterday.
Muhammad Razikun of the Muslim-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) said "there are indications of cheating" in the entry of data to the computerised system entry at the district level. The electronic vote count shows that Megawati's party is suffering a big drop in support. It won 34 per cent of the vote in 1999. Analysts said voters turned against Megawati's party - once the symbol of opposition to Suharto - because she squandered its chances to introduce real reform. Voters have turned instead to two upstarts, Yudhoyono's Democrat Party, and PKS.
Political commentator Dewi Fortuna Anwar said Megawati's declining popularity was partly due to her failure to personally communicate sensitive policies to the public. "The decline in Megawati's popularity has a positive correlation with the increase in Yudhoyono's popularity," Anwar told AFP. "Megawati is too aloof. In major issues like Aceh and terrorism, it was the security minister (Yudhoyono) who appeared boldly before the public," said Anwar, a presidential adviser in the B J Habibie administration. The Democrats were in fifth place today with 7.4 per cent, followed by PKS on 6.9 per cent. The National Awakening Party and the United Development Party were in third and fourth place with 13.2 per cent and 8.3 per cent respectively.



Posted in Elections @ 11 April 2004 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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