General Election in Indonesia
Monday, June 7, 1999

Participated by 48 Political Parties.

Let's hope, it's an honest, just, free and peaceful election.

The 16 days of official campaign period has started yesterday, Wednesday, May 19, 1999. 48 political parties are taking part in the general election. Various colors of parties' flags and slogans can be seen clearly in many strategic places throughout the country. What's the people anticipation of this important political event?

Looking at the colorful scenery, some believe that it is a real democratic fiesta to show the people's aspiration. Some are worried that something worse could happened in this already tense situation in several places in the country.

The Leaders of Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air-Force) and The Police Forces, have vowed to remain neutral in this process. They would not take side to any contestant. The members of the armed forces and the police consisting of ± 500.000 troops, they do not vote, instead an allocation of 38 seats in the assembly of 500 Parliamentarians, are secured for them, (previously they had 75 seats).

To avoid any conflicts during campaign and other unexpectable situation, almost all regional governments of the country, have arranged a commitment with all contesting parties to maintain good order during this period. In some provincial capitals, a joint declaration of all contesting political parties to keep order and security have been signed, which later on continued with a joint-peaceful parade.

The Governor of Yogyakarta Special Region.

Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, One of the few of well respected, charismatic and trustable leaders in Indonesia, where his territory is one of the safest place in the country, recently has lead a joint-prayer in his royal palace, attended by some 3000 peoples of various groups and parties, asking God the Almighty to bless the people of Yogyakarta and Indonesia a.o. to live peacefully and prosperously.

Suryo S. Negoro

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