ASIA/INDONESIA - Indonesia’s presidency: postponed to second round of votes in September

Wednesday, 7 July 2004

Jakarta (Fides Service) - With 40% of the votes cast on July 5 for a new president of Indonesia counted, no candidate appears to have obtained the necessary majority which means that there will be a second round of voting in September.
The vote is expected to be held on 20 September and the candidates will be General Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of the new Democratic Party and outgoing president Megawati Sukarnoputri.
According to partial results, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono obtained 33,2% of the votes (much less than expected); Megawati, daughter of former president Sukarno, obtained 26% and in third place there is reportedly General Wiranto, the Golkar candidate with circa 23.3% of the votes.
In these first direct elections for president in Indonesia since the fall of the dictatorial regime of Suharto in 1998, an estimated, 80% of the 154 million eligible voters placed their vote. The final results are not expected before ten days due to logistic difficulties of counting votes in an archipelago of 17,000 islands.
With a population of 230 million, 90% Muslim, Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country, and the fourth most populated country in general following China, India and the United States.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 7/7/2004 lines 22 words 246)