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Friday, 27 October, 2000, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
Wahid lays down gauntlet
Wahid falls asleep in parliament
Critics say President Wahid is unfit to hold office
Embattled Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid has challenged lawmakers to attempt to impeach him.

"The DPR (House of Respresentatives) can call a special session. Go ahead, I'm not worried. I had never wanted to be a president anyway," Mr Abdurrahman told a Muslim congregation after Friday prayers.

Amien Raid and Abdurrahman Wahid
Amien Rais (L) says he regrets backing Mr Wahid for the presidency
He also accused his critics of ignoring his achievements over the last year, including an increase in exports.

"There's progress in all aspects. Whether it is accepted or not, I leave it to the people, who will decide in the next elections," he said.

However, Mr Wahid admitted Indonesia had still not won back foreign investors due to ongoing violence in several regions, political infighting and corrupt bureaucracies.

Meanwhile police have cleared Mr Wahid of involvement in the disappearance of $4 million from state coffers in a scandal dubbed Bulogate.

Masseur

Police said the key suspect in the affair, the president's former masseur, Ajip Agung Suwondo, had insisted during questioning this week that Mr Wahid was innocent.

"From our investigations, [he] has nothing to do with the case," said police spokesman Saleh Saaf.


It is now clear that Gus Dur cannot last much longer

Amien Rais
Mr Suwondo has been accused of absconding with the money from the state logistics agency, Bulog.

Mr Wahid's challenge to his critics follows calls for his resignation by the speaker of the National Assembly, Amien Rais.

Mr Rais has said Mr Wahid, known by his nickname Gus Dur, should quit because of his failure to solve Indonesia's multiple problems, including ethnic violence and corruption.

Mr Wahid has also come under attack for replacing ministers without explanation and refusing to appear before a parliamentary committee probing the two financial scandals, including Bulogate of which he has now been cleared.

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See also:

20 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid marks tricky first year
10 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
Scandal probe to quiz Wahid
29 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Judges dismiss Suharto case
06 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Wahid's many problems
27 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Indonesian president under scrutiny
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