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PBR backs Mega, Susilo wooes PPP JAKARTA - Megawati Soekarnoputri's reelection bid received another boost on Monday after the Muslim-based Reform Star Party (PBR) decided to support her in the Sept. 20 election runoff. PBR chairman Zaenuddin MZ said in a press conference on Monday that the party had undertaken a series of discussions before deciding to throw its weight behind Megawati.
He also dismissed suggestions that her Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) had offered Cabinet positions in exchange for its support. "We have reasons to give the support, but so far we have yet to discuss possible positions in the Cabinet should Megawati win," Zaenuddin said. He underlined that a key reason for the party's backing Megawati was to ensure civilian supremacy and prevent the return of militarism in Indonesia.
On Aug. 19, three parties -- the Golkar Party, the PPP and the Christian-based Prosperous Peace Party (PDS) -- declared their support for Megawati. With the PBR, the parties agreed to form a four-way coalition in the House of Representatives and regional legislatures until 2009. Megawati held a lunch meeting on Monday with eliminated presidential candidate Gen. (ret) Wiranto of the Golkar Party at a hotel in South Jakarta.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, Wiranto said he had an obligation to the 26 million people who had voted for him on July 5 in choosing a candidate to back in the run-off. "I will make a decision next week," he said, adding that he had also met with Susilo. Meanwhile, Megawati's rival Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wooed on Monday senior members of the Muslim-based United Development Party (PPP), which had previously pledged its support to Megawati and running mate Hasyim Muzadi.
Susilo met with PPP senior executive Buya Hasan Ismail Mutareum, who expressed support for Susilo's bid. The meeting irked some PPP executives, who said Buya, a former PPP chairman, should not break the pledge to support Megawati. Susilo also held a teleconference with around 3,500 new students of state-financed Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) in West Java, and answered questions from two ITB freshmen.
ITB rector Kusmayanto denied that the teleconference was a campaign forum for Susilo, and said he had tried to ask Megawati to join the teleconference, but the Presidential Palace did not respond. To cement its commitment to Megawati, Golkar leader Akbar Tandjung went on series of trips across Java, instructing the party's regional branches to support the Megawati-Hasyim pair.
Speaking to regional party heads in Surakarta, Central Java, Akbar said the coalition would bring benefits for Golkar in the 2009 election, and that the party would play a major role in the next five years. "Megawati, together with us, will establish the next government," Akbar said. He further said Susilo had shown antipathy to Golkar and trusted all members would obey the party's instruction to support Megawati. Separately, Hasyim Muzadi held a meeting with the business community in Batam, Riau.



Posted in Elections @ 24 August 2004 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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