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Page last updated at 08:37 GMT, Monday, 13 April 2009 09:37 UK

Indonesia coalition talks 'near'

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono waves to supporters during a campaign rally in Indonesia on 3 April 2009
Despite the downturn, support for the Indonesian leader is high

Coalition talks could be imminent between Indonesia's Democrat Party and the Golkar Party, reports say.

Democrat President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appears in the strongest position to be re-elected as president in July after last week's election.

Local media said planned talks between Golkar and the party of former president Megawati Sukarnoputri were suddenly cancelled at the weekend.

Golkar leaders have spoken in favour of coalition with the Democratic Party.

A top official in Mr Yudhoyono's party, Andi Mallarangeng, said it would be "natural" to extend the existing alliance and that the party was preparing for more "intensified" talks with Golkar, Reuters news agency reported.

Poll results

Golkar's leader, Jusuf Kalla, is currently vice-president in coalition with Mr Yudhoyono.

Local news web sites said Mr Yudhoyono had spoken with Mr Kalla on Sunday.

Before the 9 April parliamentary polls, Mr Kalla had floated the possibility of alliance with other smaller parties, to support his own bid to be president.

Unofficial results from those polls suggest Mr Yudhoyono secured more than 20% of the vote.

Golkar and Ms Megawati's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle polled roughly even, with about 14% each.

Parties or coalitions need 20% of the seats in parliament in order to contest the presidency.

The Jakarta Globe newspaper reported that several Golkar officials said they would rather share power with Mr Yudhoyono than be cut out of the next government altogether.



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