Fri, 04 May 2001

I'm no Arroyo: Megawati

JAKARTA (JP): Despite the many similarities she shares with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Vice President Megawati Soekarnoputri refused on Thursday any comparison with the Philippines president.

"The Philippines is the Philippines, Indonesia is Indonesia, Arroyo is Arroyo, and likewise Megawati is Megawati. Please don't compare us as there are differences," Megawati was quoted as saying by Supreme Advisory Council (DPA) Chairman Achmad Tirtosudiro.

Achmad said that Megawati was commenting on his advice that the Vice President take the initiative to end the protracted political stalemate plaguing the country, following the footsteps of Arroyo.

"I was telling her that changes happened in the Philippines," Achmad told journalists after meeting with Megawati.

He said the Vice President responded with a smile to his question over her reaction to the House of Representatives decision to rebuke President Abdurrahman Wahid for a second time on Monday.

Both Megawati and Arroyo were daughters of presidents of Southeast Asian countries.

Many are wondering whether Megawati will join Arroyo as a vice president who took the lead in place of an impeached president.

"I think we have to understand what Megawati's smile and remarks mean," Achmad added. (dja)