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Monday, 30 April, 2001, 19:21 GMT 20:21 UK
Q&A: Indonesia impeachment
q and a
Anton Alifandi of the BBC's Indonesian service provides a guide to the key facts behind the moves to impeach Indonesia's president, Abdurrahman Wahid:

What does censure mean for Indonesia?

President Wahid has repeatedly warned that his removal would mean the end for Indonesia, with regions including Aceh and the Moluccas breaking away.

There is no reason to suggest that if he is replaced by Megawati, his most likely successor, the outer Islands would be more inclined to secede, though Megawati would probably take a tougher line on separatist movements.

The immediate effect for Indonesia is continued instability and upheaval because Wahid has implied that he would fight any attempt to remove him from office.

How much support does Wahid have left?

Within parliament, only Wahid's own party, the PKB, and a small Christian party, support him.

The army and police faction has abstained.

Among the population, the president is supported by members of the Nahdlatul Ulama, an organisation he led until 1999.

It is the largest Muslim organisation in Indonesia, with claimed membership of 40 million, mainly in East and Central Java and to a lesser extent West Java.

Wahid has only limited support in the so-called outer Islands.

On a much smaller scale, many non-government organisations still support Wahid.

Can he survive?

This is the million dollar question. Abdurrahman Wahid is very wily and unpredictable.

In the past he has survived an attempt by the Suharto regime to remove him from the leadership of the Nahdlatul Ulama - a significant feat in itself against a powerful authoritarian regime.

But the problem he is facing now is on a totally different scale, though one can argue that this time he has the powers of the state on his side.

The answer in the end may depend on the armed forces.

The army and police faction abstained in a recent vote, but recently it has shown signs of unease about the way Wahid has conducted himself.

The line it is taking at the moment is that it will support whatever is constitutional.

Who else can lead Indonesia?

Megawati is Wahid's most likely successor.

She is the daughter of Indonesia's first president and commands strong popular support - her party won the most votes in the 1999 general election.

On the downside, it is probably safe to assume that her grasp of state affairs is weak. She has shown nothing to suggest otherwise in her role as vice president.

However, all of Wahid's opponents agree that, should he go, it would be Megawati who would become president.

Within the Wahid camp, the reputation of the senior political affairs minister, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has largely survived despite serving under a weak and erratic president.

As an army general, he was seen as the brightest of his generation.

Last but not least, the army as an institution cannot be ruled out, especially when there is prolonged instability.

What went wrong for Wahid?

President Abdurrahman Wahid was seen as a great hope for Indonesia because he was viewed as somebody who could act as a bridge between the different groups in Indonesian society.

He was acceptable to the two largest political groups, the nationalists and more Islamic-orientated Indonesians.

As a leading Muslim cleric, he also has strong contacts with other religious groups, and has shown in the past to be a staunch defender of religious and ethnic minority rights.

It is with this in mind that a group of Muslim politicians persuaded Wahid to run for president, despite past differences.

The Muslim parties could not accept Megawati Sukarnoputri as president, because of her perceived lack of sympathies for the Muslim cause.

They also realised that the candidate for the Golkar Party - then in government - would not have been acceptable because of his links to the Suharto regime.

Golkar then switched its support to Wahid.

The support for Wahid in 1999 was led by top legislator Amien Rais, who has now reverted back to his earlier role as a bitter opponent.

Things started to go wrong for Wahid when he started replacing members of his cabinet, many of whom were part of the coalition which brought him to power. These include leading members of the PDI-P, led by Megawati.

Wahid's lack of administrative ability, already recognised before he became president, also became more apparent. And perhaps crucially, his government failed to bring about political and economic stability.

What was Wahid accused of?

The legal reasons which started the censure process were alleged corruption over donations received by the Sultan of Brunei, the so-called Bruneigate, and alleged corruption over money obtained from the rice procurement agency.

On the former, Wahid said the donation was private and used to fund social development projects in Aceh, a region embroiled in separatism.

On the latter, the so-called Buloggate, he denies any knowledge.

A special parliamentary commission on Bruneigate and Buloggate initially found that there were reasonable grounds to suspect his involvement.

The whole parliament then passed a motion saying that he was implicated in the two scandals

But following further investigation the Indonesian Attorney-General Marzuki Darusman said he had found no evidence of presidential involvement in the two case and charges were dropped.

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See also:

19 Apr 01 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid threatens parliament
12 Mar 01 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid stands firm amid protests
26 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
'Time running out' for Wahid
24 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Police quiz Wahid over scandal
06 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Wahid's many problems
25 May 00 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid's masseur 'flees with $4.2m'
21 Oct 99 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Indonesia's Islamic presidency?
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