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Suharto's old party seems set for victory after polls JAKARTA - The Golkar party of former dictator Suharto appears set for victory in Indonesia's general election, less than six years after Suharto was pressured into resigning. Golkar had 20.71 percent of the 82.4 million votes counted as of mid-morning, leaving President Megawati Sukarnoputri's ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) trailing with 19.97 percent. "Golkar Party Returns" said a front-page headline in Kompas newspaper. The party, which backed Suharto's autocratic 32-year rule but which now claims to have reformed, leads in 23 of the 32 provinces.
Counting was continuing eight days after the legislative elections and it was not clear when it would end. Election study groups including the US National Democratic Institute said Monday the turnout on April 5 was estimated at 87 percent of the 147 million registered voters. This would mean about 65 percent of votes had been counted Tuesday. Despite Golkar's likely victory, it has failed so far to match its performance in the last polls in 1999 when it won 22 percent of the vote.
PDI-P has suffered a dramatic slump in support compared with its 34 percent in 1999. Megawati's prospects in a July 5 election for president and vice-president have been weakened as a result. The presidential candidate and the running mate need not come from the same party and there is already jockeying to form coalitions. PDI-P has approached Vice President Hamzah Haz's United Development Party (PPP); the country's largest Muslim organisation, the Nahdlatul Ulama; and the National Awakening Party (PKB) founded by former president Abdurrahman Wahid, party official Tjahjo Kumolo said, according to the Antara news agency.
Megawati is also considering vice-presidential candidates from within her coalition cabinet, said Kumolo, who heads PDIP's parliamentary faction. Third in the latest vote tally was PKB with 12.46 percent, just below its 1999 tally. It was followed by PPP with 8.27 percent, far short of the 11 percent the party clinched in 1999. The new Democrat Party of Megawati's former security minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stayed in fifth place with 7.5 percent. It took the votes of millions of disaffected Megawati supporters in a show of support for the former general's presidential ambitions.
The Muslim-oriented Prosperous Justice Party, which campaigned on an anti-corruption platform, maintained its strong showing - placing sixth with 7.09 percent of the vote. It leads the polls in Jakarta.



Posted in Elections @ 13 April 2004 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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