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Last Updated: Friday, 29 August, 2003, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
Indonesia sets election date
Indonesia has said that it will hold its first direct presidential elections on 5 July next year.

Indonesia's national general election commission also said voters will be able to vote directly for a vice-president.

The date is expected to get final approval from the commission's plenary session next Tuesday.

If no-one wins a majority outright then there will be a run-off between the two top candidates on 20 September.

Previously, Indonesian presidents were elected by the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), which is Indonesia's supreme legislature, but which last year decided to devolve that power to the people.

Analysts say the incumbent President Megawati Sukarnoputri of the Indonesian Democratic Party Struggle is so far the strongest presidential candidate for 2004.

Indonesia began reforming its democratic system in 1998 after the former President Suharto was forced to resign, ending decades of dictatorship.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service


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