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Saturday, 21 July, 2001, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
Parliament moves to topple Wahid
President Abdurrahman Wahid
Wahid: Still ready to impose state of emergency
Members of the upper house of the Indonesian parliament have formally summoned President Abdurrahman Wahid to appear before them on Monday to account for his 20 months in office.


I will not attend this illegal meeting

President Wahid
The move came at the end of the first day of an impeachment hearing which could result in the country's first democratically elected president being voted out of office within a matter of days.

But Mr Wahid has declared that he will not resign, and that he will not appear before the assembly.

He has accused parliament of acting illegally and without justification and, although he said there was still time for compromise, he also warned there could be a violent reaction from his supporters around the country if he were forced out of office.

Police in Jakarta
The situation on the streets is tense
The BBC Jakarta correspondent Richard Galpin says this is an extraordinary turn of events for Mr Wahid, who came to power in 1999 on a wave of euphoria.

He was seen as a leader who could unite the nation after years of turmoil caused by the Asian economic crisis and the violent overthrow of the former authoritarian ruler, Suharto.

A special session of the national assembly (MPR), voted by an overwhelming majority to summon the president to answer allegations of corruption and incompetence.

A small number of MPs abstained in the vote, and members of Mr Wahid's minority National Awakening Party stayed away.

President  Abdurrahman Wahid
Wahid: Pondering "many options"
But the 38-member bloc representing the military and police voted against the president.

In a nationally televised news conference just before parliament began its proceedings, the president renewed a threat to declare a state of emergency.

This would give him wide powers and allow an early election - if he could not reach a political deal with his opponents by 31 July.

No violence

Mr Wahid appealed to his followers not to turn to violence - but warned that the popular mood might be hard to control.

General Ismail
General Ismail's appointment spurred parliament into action
"If they [go ahead with impeachment], don't blame me if the crowd takes care of everything by themselves," he said.

He refused to be drawn on when or whether he would declare a state of emergency.

"I have many options. I won't tell what I will do. But I will do something," he said.

If Mr Wahid is voted out of office, Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri is likely to take over, but she has made no comment on the present stand-off.

Wahid timeline
1 Feb: Parliament censures Wahid over alleged corruption

30 Apr: Second censure from parliament

28 May: Corruption charges dropped

30 May: Parliament votes to impeach Wahid for 'incompetence'

20 Jul: Early impeachment session called
The country is under full police alert and will remain so for the next week.

"Stern action will be taken by troops for any anarchical actions," said Jakarta police spokesman, Adjunct Chief Commissioner Anton Bahrul Alam.

On Friday, Mr Wahid went ahead with the controversial installation of a new police chief - though only in a temporary capacity - and this is what appears to have prompted MPs to bring forward the impeachment proceedings.

These had been due to begin on 1 August.

The appointment of General Chaeruddin Ismail followed the refusal of General Suroyo Bimantoro to step down, despite being sacked by Mr Wahid.

Mr Bimantoro had refused to support Mr Wahid's threat to declare emergency rule.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Richard Galpin
"Another momentous day in Indonesian politics"
Professor Michael Hitchcock, Indonesia analyst
"It is clear that all the elected representatives have got fed up with the President"
President Wahid,
highlights his support within the country
See also:

20 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid appoints new police chief
17 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Jakarta police mount show of strength
16 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid faces early impeachment
13 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Armed police defy Wahid
12 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Police feud symbolic of chaos
31 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Indonesia's power vacuum
30 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Testing Indonesia's democracy
21 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Indonesia's political turmoil
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