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The BBC's Richard Galpin
"Ms Megawati also enjoys the support of the armed forces"
 real 56k

Endi Bayuni, Managing Editor, Jakarta Post
"It's now a question of when not if"
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Monday, 21 May, 2001, 10:27 GMT 11:27 UK
Megawati puts pressure on Wahid
Show of strength in Jakarta by soldiers in riot gear
Indonesia's army refused to back a state of emergency
Indonesian Vice-President Megawati Sukarnoputri has warned against the break-up of the country - a move seen as putting increasing pressure on President Abdurrahman Wahid to resign.

In a speech to military officers, Ms Megawati said Indonesia risked becoming the sick man of Asia if it failed to make the transition to democracy.

Megawati Sukarnoputri
Megawati did not mention Wahid by name
It needed a leader who would solve its problems rather than accumulate power, she said.

Correspondents have described the speech as a veiled attack on President Wahid, who is facing possible impeachment over corruption allegations.

As vice-president, Ms Megawati would automatically succeed Mr Wahid if he were to be impeached.

Army chiefs made it clear on Sunday that they would not support the president if he decided to impose a state of emergency in an effort to avoid impeachment.

"If he insists on this, we will no longer help him,"Army chief General Endriartono Sutarto told Tempo magazine.

'Avoid tragedy'

Ms Megawati said Indonesia had to move on from being an authoritarian state and avoid the fate of other countries which had disintegrated into chaos in recent years.

Abdurrahman Wahid
Wahid - 'desperate' to hold on to power
"We must learn so that that kind of tragedy does not occur in our beloved land," she said.

Without mentioning Mr Wahid by name, she said that a leader's legitimacy depended on people's acceptance of him and his success in implementing his mandate, rather than his personal power.

Ms Megawati and Mr Wahid both failed to attend a emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday called to discuss the crisis.

It is believed the meeting was originally called so that Mr Wahid could present plans for a state of emergency.


With no signs that he has been able to make a deal with parliament over impeachment moves, correspondents say that Mr Wahid is becoming increasing desperate to cling on to power.

But in the past few days commanders of the armed forces have made it clear they will not support a crackdown.

Mr Wahid's attempt to replace top commanders with others who are more compliant also appeared to have been thwarted after Ms Megawati met army chiefs on Saturday.

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See also:

21 May 01 | Business
Indonesia moves to appease IMF
19 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
Megawati in urgent talks with military
18 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid warns parliament he will fight
17 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid: Gauging the public mood
15 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
Defiant Wahid 'will run again'
02 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid ignores parliament censure
21 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
Profile: Megawati Sukarnoputri
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