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Thursday, 21 October, 1999, 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK
Megawati elected vice-president
Megawati has won the vice-presidency
Megawati has won the vice-presidency
Megawati Sukarnoputri has been elected vice-president of Indonesia.

Her only rival was Hamzah Haz of the United Development Party (PPP).

Votes were tallied one by one in parliament, with election officials calling out the name of the candidate chosen on each ballot paper.

The count, frequently punctuated by cheers from parliamentary deputies, was broadcast live on national television.
Indonesia Flashpoints

Megawati had earlier expressed reluctance to put her name forward, after losing Wednesday's presidential ballot, but subsequently agreed.

"I am ready for the sake of the unity of the nation," Megawati said.

Each vote counted was marked on a board in front of parliament
Each vote counted was marked on a board in front of parliament
Correspondents say that Megawati may have been waiting for other candidates to pull out.

Two of them - Defence Minister General Wiranto and Golkar party chairman Akbar Tandjung - withdrew before the vote.

An official from Golkar, the assembly's second largest group, said earlier that 70% of its members backed Megawati.

Violence

It was Golkar votes which helped Abdurrahman Wahid defeat Megawati in Wednesday's presidential election.

There was widespread violence and two deaths when her supporters vented their fury after learning that she had been defeated by the moderate Muslim cleric.

Megawati's Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle party won the most seats in June's parliamentary elections, but she was the surprise loser in the country's first contested presidential election.

Car bombs exploded during the ensuing riots, killing two and injuring many more.

Megawati, the daughter of the country's first president, Sukarno, immediately called for calm.

In a statement she said: "Let us face the entire political process which is currently on course with a clean heart, clear thoughts as well as maturity, for the sake of the integrity of the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia."

The streets of Jakarta are reported to be quiet on Thursday but correspondents say there is a huge security presence.

Mr Wahid will serve for a five-year term as Indonesia's fourth president, taking over from President BJ Habibie.

Indonesia's politically powerful military was quick to welcome the election of the Muslim cleric.

Military chief General Wiranto said he was willing to serve as vice-president if accepted by all factions in the People's Consultative Assembly.

International reaction was also positive. US President Bill Clinton said he was encouraged by the result, saying that the last two days had given hope that the country was "on the way back".

At his swearing-in ceremony, Mr Wahid vowed to defend the integrity of the territory of Indonesia against "other countries that sometimes underestimate our feelings and dignity".

"We believe that good relations with other countries must be based on the principle of mutual respect," he said.

He also expressed gratitude to Megawati, who he said had ''[passed] the test of democratic life".

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Audio
The BBC's Matt Frei explains the role of Megawati Sukarnoputri
Video
The BBC's Matt Frei: "A presidency born in blood"
Audio
The BBC's Jonathan Head in Jakarta: "There's uncertainty over whether Megawati would accept the number two position"
Audio
The BBC's Craig Swan: "The political parties are reported to be trying to agree on a consensus figure"
Audio
The BBC's Simon Ingram: "The post of vice-president has taken on added significance"
See also:

19 Oct 99 | Asia-Pacific
20 Oct 99 | Asia-Pacific
20 Oct 99 | Asia-Pacific
20 Oct 99 | Asia-Pacific
20 Oct 99 | Asia-Pacific
20 Oct 99 | Profiles
21 Oct 99 | Asia-Pacific
20 Oct 99 | Asia-Pacific
21 Oct 99 | Asia-Pacific
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