Friday, June 4, 1999 Published at 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Jakarta violence as campaigning ends
Anti-Golkar protesters burned the party's flag
Indonesian troops have opened fire in the capital, Jakarta, as opposition supporters clashed with those of the ruling Golkar party on the final day of campaigning before Monday's parliamentary elections.
Hundreds of riot police, armed with batons and shields, were sent to at least three trouble spots in the capital, and soldiers fired warning shots over the heads of a 2,000-strong crowd at Senen in eastern Jakarta.
Friday's violence was a rare sign of serious unrest during electioneering for Monday's vote, hailed as Indonesia's first truly democratic poll in four decades.
Golkar had earlier been staging its final bid for support, gathering several thousand campaigners for a rally in a Jakarta sports stadium.
But the party faithful were outnumbered by several thousand supporters of the People's Sovereignty Party (PDR). It has nominated Cooperatives Minister Adi Sasono, who has been expelled from Golkar, as its candidate for the presidential election in November.
Friday completes a rotating schedule designed to avoid confrontation between the major parties. A two-day cooling-off period follows over the weekend before Indonesians cast their votes.
}Golkar, the party of President BJ Habibie, is not expected to succeed in Monday's elections. Correspondents say the ruling party is discredited and distrusted by Indonesians for its corruption and abuse of power during the regime of President Suharto.
But BBC Jakarta Correspondent Jonathan Head says the party should not be written off entirely because it is still strong in Indonesia's rural areas. Election monitors fear many urban Indonesians are not prepared for the possibility that Golkar may still do well, despite its unpopularity in the cities, our correspondent says.
PDI-Struggle, led by Megawati Sukarnoputri, is widely tipped to get the most votes, but looks unlikely to win an overall majority.
"We shall be grateful if Golkar is given the trust to be the winner in the upcoming elections. However, should we lose, we are ready to be outside the circle of government and become a power to balance the government as an opposition," the party chairman said.
He predicted Golkar would win 30% to 40% of the vote, but opinion polls have shown the party has far less support, and attendance at rallies has been relatively light.
Campaigning comes to an official end on Friday, ahead of Monday's elections in which some 130 million Indonesians are eligible to vote.