ad info




 
ASIANOW
  MAIN PAGE myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Free E-mail | Feedback
 WORLD
 ASIA NOW
   east asia
   southeast asia
   south asia
   central asia
   australasia
 TIME ASIA
 ASIAWEEK
 BIZ ASIA
 SPORTS ASIA
 SHOWBIZ ASIA
 ASIA WEATHER
 TRAVEL ASIA
 U.S.
 LOCAL
 POLITICS
 WEATHER
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 TECHNOLOGY
 SPACE
 HEALTH
 ENTERTAINMENT
 BOOKS
 TRAVEL
 FOOD
 STYLE
 NATURE
 IN-DEPTH
 ANALYSIS
 myCNN

 Headline News brief
 news quiz
 daily almanac

  MULTIMEDIA:
 video
 video archive
 audio
 multimedia showcase
 more services

  E-MAIL:
Subscribe to one of our news e-mail lists.
Enter your address:
Or:
Get a free e-mail account

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 AsiaNow
 En Español
 Em Português
 Svenska
 Norge
 Danmark
 Italian

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 TIME INC. SITES:
 CNN NETWORKS:
Networks image
 more networks
 transcripts

 SITE INFO:
 help
 contents
 search
 ad info
 jobs

 WEB SERVICES:


 


White-collar workers in Jakarta join anti-Habibie chorus

October 19, 1999
Web posted at: 1:22 a.m. HKT (1722 GMT)


In this story:

Students call for Megawati presidency

Habibie: 'I don't want to say goodbye'

Megawati win far from guaranteed

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



From staff and wire reports

JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- Two days before Indonesia's parliament elects a president, thousands of people took to the streets of Jakarta in rival demonstrations Monday to voice their views on incumbent President B.J. Habibie or opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri.

In the business district of the city, Indonesia's capital, about 1,000 white-collar workers gathered to protest against Habibie.

 VIDEO
VideoCNN's Maria Ressa sums up the feelings on the streets of Indonesia ahead of the elections. (October 18)
Windows Media 28K 80K
 
  MESSAGE BOARD
Indonesia and East Timor

 

"Enough is enough. He is too small for the job," said one man, as doctors, lawyers and brokers near the Jakarta stock exchange building sang, "Reject Habibie!"

In a separate demonstration, about 5,000 students demanding the election of Habibie's main rival, opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri, filled a main traffic circle in Jakarta, protesting noisily.

Students call for Megawati presidency

"We will be here until Mega becomes president. If she isn't elected, we will start a revolution," said Zaenal Surrahman, one of many students wearing red, the color of Megawati's party. Other students waved red banners.

At a third site, 500 soldiers closed Jakarta's main road, pushing about 100 protesters near Atmajaya University down a side street. Last week, students threw Molotov cocktails in this same spot in a clash with police.

Habibie was appointed, not elected, when he took over 16 months ago. His authoritarian predecessor and mentor, President Suharto, was forced by protests and riots to quit after 32 years of iron-fisted rule.

Habibie introduced basic democratic changes, but his popularity has dipped because of his ties to Suharto and his handling of the East Timor crisis. He has also been criticized for a banking corruption scandal linked to his inner circle and Indonesia's huge economic problems.

Habibie: 'I don't want to say goodbye'

Despite widespread criticism of his government, Habibie said in a speech earlier Monday he is determined to win the election.

"I don't want to say goodbye. I don't want to bid farewell," Habibie said in an emotional speech to several hundred soldiers and police at a national monument in central Jakarta.

He also told students to stop staging violent, anti- government protests. Thousands of students have taken to the streets in a series of demonstrations over the past week, protesting everything from Habibie's presidential candidacy to Australia's role in the East Timor crisis.

On Wednesday, the 700-member People's Consultative Assembly, the country's highest legislative body, will decide who will be Indonesia's leader for the next five years.

Habibie is one of three candidates for the presidency. In addition to Megawati -- daughter of Sukarno, the country's first president -- Habibie is expected to face one other candidate Wednesday: Abdurrahman Wahid, founder of the Muslim-oriented National Awakening Party and leader of Indonesia's largest Islamic organization.

In an almost two-hour speech to the assembly, Habibie on Sunday apologized for his failings and defended his achievements.

Megawati win far from guaranteed

Two days earlier, Habibie made a required "accountability" speech that outlined the achievements of his administration. It was widely criticized by the legislators in a lively, free-speech debate that never would have been allowed by Suharto.

Habibie's ruling Golkar Party still could withdraw his nomination if the legislators reject the content of his accountability speech.

Megawati's party and three others have said they will reject it. They control just under half the assembly seats. Golkar and the assembly's military faction, which controls 27 percent, and other small opposition groups have not announced their decision.

Although Megawati's party won the most votes in last June's parliamentary election, a win in the presidential election on Wednesday is far from guaranteed.

"Megawati is not open-minded. She refuses to compromise with other parties," said assembly member Hamdan Zulva.

Analysts say that despite Habibie's lack of popularity, vote- buying could still secure him a second term.

Jakarta Bureau Chief Maria Ressa and Reuters contributed to this report.

ASIANOW


RELATED STORIES:
Indonesian lawmakers meet to iron out presidential election rules
October 18, 1999
Indonesian leader pleads with lawmakers for his job
October 17, 1999
Indonesian President Habibie names general as running mate
October 13, 1999

RELATED SITES:
United Nations Home Page
Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights
Indonesian Embassy
  • Government of Indonesia
  • Facts about Indonesia
World-Wide Web Virtual Library: Indonesia
See related sites about Southeast Asia
Southeast Asian media sites
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

   LATEST HEADLINES:


WASHINGTON
U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

MANILA
Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

ALLAHABAD
Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

COLOMBO
Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

TOKYO
Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

BANGKOK
Thai party announces first coalition partner



TIME:

COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state



ASIAWEEK:

COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness


Launch CNN's Desktop Ticker and get the latest news, delivered right on your desktop!

Today on CNN
SEARCH CNN.com
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.