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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 May, 2004, 06:24 GMT 07:24 UK
Indonesia poll result announced
Megawati Sukarnoputri
The result may harm President Megawati's re-election bid
The Golkar party of former President Suharto has been proclaimed the winner of last month's Indonesian elections.

The party took 21.6% of the vote, with President Megawati Sukarnoputri's PDI-P party coming second with 18.5%, said the General Election Commission.

The result is a setback for the PDI-P, which won over a third of votes in 1999 in the first poll after the overthrow of Suharto's 32-year dictatorship.

Analysts said Mrs Megawati's re-election bid in July could be damaged.

The BBC's Jakarta correspondent says the results reflect a deep disappointment felt by many towards Mrs Megawati's government and the difficulty she now faces in trying to hold onto her job.

The frontrunner at this early stage is Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who stepped down as security minister in March. His personal popularity led his relatively new Democrat Party to fifth place in the general election.

With no party claiming a majority in the 550-member National Assembly, Indonesia will continue with a coalition government after a new president is elected.

PDI-P had been the most powerful party in the current ruling coalition.

ELECTION RESULTS
Golkar Party - 21.%
PDI-P Party - 18.5%
National Awakening Party - 10.5%
United Development Party - 8.15%
Democrat Party - 7.45%

In the 1999 elections, PDI-P took 33.7% of the vote and Golkar 22.5%.

Many voters are believed to have turned against President Megawati's party because of the perception that the leadership is aloof and has failed to keep promises to cut corruption and unemployment.

Polling took place in early April but it has taken time for votes from outlying areas, in the world's fourth most populous country, to be counted.

The election commission said turnout was 84%, or 124.4 million voters, although almost 11 million votes were invalid.

One area of concern was the high number of invalid votes - almost 9% of total ballots cast.

Given the complexity of the election process, our correspondent says it was perhaps not surprising that some voters failed to fill out their papers correctly.

But overall, this election, conducted peacefully and supported by the vast majority of registered voters, was a significant consolidation of Indonesia's democratic credentials, our correspondent says.




SEE ALSO:
Indonesian voters go to polls
05 Apr 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Indonesia's packed election year
19 Jan 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Indonesia
13 Nov 03  |  Country profiles


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