Sat, 21 Feb 2004


Surya Paloh meets Yogyakarta sultan

YOGYAKARTA: One of Golkar's presidential candidates Surya Paloh met with Yogyakarta Governor Sultan Hamengkubuwono X on Friday, more than one week after the latter withdrew from the party's convention.

Surya Paloh, general manager of the Media Indonesia group, said he intended to get first-hand information about the withdrawal of the sultan from the convention.

Sultan Hamengkubuwono, who finished seventh in the first round of Golkar's convention, withdrew shortly after the Supreme Court acquitted Golkar chairman Akbar Tandjung from corruption charges.

Many said that the acquittal would help Akbar to win Golkar's ticket to run for president.

Surya Palloh disclosed on Friday that during the meeting the sultan pledged to stay with Golkar and develop the party as long as the party supports the reform agenda.

Separately in Jakarta, Akbar refuted the view that his acquittal had paved the way for him to grab the ticket for the presidency, saying that all six candidates have an equal chance. - JP

;JP;ANTARA; ANPAa..r.. Swedish-Indonesia-investigation team Swedish prosecutors not ready yet Jp/4/scene

Swedish prosecutors to arrive in March

JAKARTA: Indonesia is still unsure about the schedule of the planned visit of Swedish investigators who will probe the alleged involvement of Free Aceh Movement (GAM) leaders in terrorism and crimes in Aceh and Jakarta, a government official says.

"We are still waiting for the dates of Swedish prosecutors from Stockholm, who are expected to arrive either in March or April. The earlier the better," foreign ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa was quoted by Antara as saying on Friday.

According to Marty, the government has prepared individuals to be questioned by the Swedish investigators. He declined to give any details.

"Several people have been named by Stockholm to be interrogated. I cannot reveal the number or their identity because everything is being processed," Marty said.

Stockholm prosecutors announced on Monday the launch of an investigation into the alleged involvement of GAM leader Hassan Tiro and his colleagues in criminal and terrorist acts in Indonesia.

GAM has been fighting for independence for the resource-rich Aceh since 1970s, with over 10,000 people, mostly innocent civilians, killed in the conflict to date.

;JP;ANTARA; ANPAa..r.. Scene-kpu-priorities KPU told to set priorities JP/4/scene

KPU told to set priorities

JAKARTA: The General Elections Commission (KPU) should set priorities in preparing the upcoming elections, political analyst Andi Mallarangeng said here on Friday.

Andi said KPU as the election organizer should be able to identify issues that deserved priority and those that were less important.

Andi, a KPU member in the 1999 election, cited as an example the recent fuss about problems in the procurement of ballot boxes that could disrupt the elections.

Issues related to ballot boxes and ink procurement, including their distribution throughout the country, should not be a priority issue for the KPU, he said.

"On the other hand, the commission should make contingency plans to cope with unexpected situations, for instance, when on election day there are no ballot boxes ," Andi said.

The KPU could overcome the problem by authorizing local commissions to make their own ballot boxes, he added.

"If it is difficult (to provide aluminum-made boxes as required under KPU standards), even a bucket with a cover can be used as a ballot box," Andi said. --Antara