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Wiranto fights on as party divides JAKARTA - FORMER Indonesian armed forces chief Wiranto is campaigning hard for the imminent presidential election, but some observers believe his efforts have been spoilt by the lack of support from his own Golkar party. One analyst told The Australian that he had even seen members of the party's youth wing campaigning for Mr Wiranto's main rival, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Two members of Golkar's central committee have been shown the door for disloyalty, and rallies have proved disappointing. Without the backing of the Golkar machine, which once sustained the dictator Suharto, Mr Wiranto's chances in the July 5 poll are bleak. Polls suggest he is now level-pegging with President Megawati Sukarnoputri on about 10 per cent support, and both have been outstripped by former security minister Mr Yudhoyono, who has roughly 40 per cent support.
Jun Honna, an expert on democratisation studies at the University of Indonesia, said he saw members of organisations under Golkar's umbrella in the Javanese cities of Surabaya and Semarang campaigning for Mr Yudhoyono. They included members of Angkatan Muda Pembaharuan Golkar, or the Golkar Youth Movement, and Pemuda Pancasila, or Pancasila Youth.
Dr Honna said the Golkar party had been divided into camps following the ascent of Mr Wiranto as the presidential candidate. One faction supported Golkar chairman Akbar Tandjung, who lost his bid to run for the top job. Although Mr Tandjung has campaigned with Mr Wiranto, many of his supporters remain disgruntled. "I don't think he (Wiranto) is supported by Golkar," Dr Honna said. "People around Akbar Tandjung would prefer him to lose. That's why Wiranto is directly campaigning. If he was supported by Golkar I think his chances are not so bad."
If there is no outright winner in the July 5 poll, the two candidates with the most votes will go on to a second round on September 20. Mr Wiranto's campaign also has been dogged by an indictment for crimes against humanity issued by a court in East Timor, and some analysts now predict he will lose in the first round, leaving Ms Megawati and Mr Yudhoyono to battle it out in September.



Posted in Elections @ 18 June 2004 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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