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Monday, 16 July, 2001, 13:37 GMT 14:37 UK
Wahid faces early impeachment
President Wahid
President Wahid insists he should complete his term
Moves to impeach Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid will start on Friday if he goes ahead with a threat to call a state of emergency, a senior MP has said.

The impeachment hearing is due to start 1 August, but President Wahid has warned he will declare an emergency at 1800 (1100GMT) on Friday if his enemies do not call off efforts to oust him.

Police squad outside Jakarta home of General Suroyo Bimantoro
The police openly defied Wahid by guarding Bimantoro's home
In response, the country's top legislature has decided to meet on Friday afternoon, and if the state of emergency is called, the impeachment session will be called "on the very same day" said Sophan Sophiaan of the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P).

However, it is not clear whether any declaration by Mr Wahid would be carried out.

Power struggle

On Monday, national police chief, General Suroyo Bimantoro, continued to defy the president when he addressed a meeting of provincial police chiefs despite Mr Wahid issuing an order for his arrest last week.

Police said the meeting was to prepare an operation to safeguard the impeachment hearings.

General Suroyo Bimantoro
General Bimantoro has said he will not back the president's threat
The president sacked General Bimantoro last month but he has refused to stand down, saying the national legislature must first approve his dismissal.

On Friday an elite police mobile squad was protecting his Jakarta home.

General Bimantoro has vocally opposed Mr Wahid's repeated threats to call a state of emergency.

MPR to move early

The speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), Amien Rais, on Monday confirmed that the assembly's 700 members would meet on Friday

"All members of the MPR will gather to anticipate Wahid's threat," Mr Rais told reporters.

Vice President Megawati
Vice-President Megawati: Waiting in the wings
Sophan Sophiaan, speaking after a meeting of MPR faction leaders, told reporters there was agreement to bring forward the impeachment hearings if necessary.

"If the decree is issued on Friday, the MPR will immediately hold a plenary and on the very same day convene the special session," said Mr Sophian, from Vice-President Megawati Sukarnoputri's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

Ms Megawati would automatically take over Mr Wahid's presidency until 2004, if he was forced out of office.

The MPR insists that Mr Wahid must deliver an accountability speech on 1 August to explain the alleged failures of his administration. If the body - which is dominated by the president's enemies - fails to accept the report, the president would have to step down.

But Mr Wahid says the assembly, which elected him in September 1999, does not have the constitutional right to demand such a speech before the end of his five-year term.

See also:

13 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Armed police defy Wahid
12 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Armed police defy Wahid
12 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Police feud symbolic of chaos
21 Oct 99 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: New hope for Indonesia?
21 Oct 99 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Indonesia's Islamic presidency?
31 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Indonesia's power vacuum
30 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Testing Indonesia's democracy
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