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Former general Yudhoyono wins Indonesia poll JAKARTA - Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has won Indonesia's presidential election run-off in a landslide, capping a rapid rise to power for the former general who has pledged to create jobs, stamp out graft and fight terrorism. Preliminary final results obtained on Monday gave Yudhoyono 60 percent of Indonesia's first direct leadership ballot while incumbent Megawati Sukarnoputri took 39 percent.
Election commission officials said the result from the September 20 poll would be formally announced later on Monday, once final checks had been made on one small province. That would allow Yudhoyono to declare victory and talk more publicly about his policies and cabinet choices. A spokesman said he would make an acceptance speech at 7.00 p.m. (1 p.m. British time) if the commission had signed off by then.
Yudhoyono, 55, will be sworn in on October 20. He has said his cabinet will start working on that day. Unofficial counting in the days after the ballot showed Yudhoyono had easily won the poll, but Megawati had said she would not concede defeat until the election commission announcement. One hitch now could be protests by Megawati's team to the Constitutional Court over concerns of possible irregularities in several provinces.
"There is a possibility of fraud. We are consulting with our leaders to discuss whether we file this with the Constitutional Court," a spokesman, Arif Wibowo, said late on Sunday. Foreign and local election observers have said there were no major irregularities that should affect the overall result. Ramlan Surbakti, a senior election commission official, said any protest would not reduce the legitimacy of the vote. According to the results, Yudhoyono beat Megawati by around 25 million votes. More than 116 million people voted.
The poll marked a major step in the democratic transition of the world's most populous Muslim nation following a violent and messy six years since the downfall of autocrat Suharto, a former general who ruled with an iron fist for 32 years. But Indonesia's financial markets have been anxious for hints on whom Yudhoyono will appoint to key cabinet positions, especially the finance minister's job and attorney general.

Cabinet contracts

He has said his cabinet would mostly comprise professionals, unlike previous cabinets that drew heavily from Indonesia's major political parties, hindering cohesion and sparking division. On Saturday, Yudhoyono said his ministers would sign accountability contracts, indicating poor performing ministers may not last. Yudhoyono has kept a low profile at his home in Bogor, south of Jakarta, since the election to avoid the spotlight.
He has sought to reconcile with Megawati and her political party, one of parliament's largest. He quit her cabinet as security chief in March to run for president. Given virtually no chance of becoming president in opinion surveys until his resignation, Yudhoyono struck a chord with voters with his message of clean and firm leadership. One of Yudhoyono's toughest challenges could be working with Indonesia's new parliament, sworn in on Friday.
It is full of parties who opposed his rise. But while other presidents were forced to accommodate parliament, Yudhoyono has hinted his popular mandate gives him more authority to makes decisions. Yudhoyono also brings some intellectual heft to the job. On Saturday, he earned a doctorate from the prestigious Bogor Institute of Agriculture after defending a thesis on poverty and unemployment. He also has a master's in management.



Posted in Elections @ 04 October 2004 00:03 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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