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NZ team to observe Indonesia's elections

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

2 July 2004

NZ team to observe Indonesia's Presidential elections

Foreign Minister Phil Goff, who is currently in Jakarta, today met the team of New Zealanders who have been invited to observe Indonesia’s Presidential elections on 5 July.

"This will be Indonesia’s first-ever direct Presidential election, as in the past its Presidents have been selected by the legislature," Mr Goff said.

"New Zealand will station observer teams in Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan and Makassar. The teams' members will include former government Minister Noel Scott; former MP Jill White; former Electoral Commissioner Paul Harris, and staff from the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta.

"This will be the second observer mission New Zealand has sent to monitor an Indonesian election this year. Both Jill White and Paul Harris observed the Parliamentary election in April.

"When I met Indonesia's Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda this morning, I congratulated him on the very high turn-out in the Parliamentary elections – higher than the turn-out in recent elections in New Zealand and the United States.

"This election is an important event for the democratic process in Indonesia, and sending observers is a practical demonstration of New Zealand’s support for this process," Mr Goff said.

The observer teams are being funded by the New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID), which provides $8.2 million in bilateral aid to Indonesia each year.

The latest polls indicate Susilo Yudhoyono is leading the field, with three candidates vying for second place – former armed forces commander Wiranto, incumbent President Megawati, and Islamic intellectual Amien Rais. A run-off election between the two highest-polling candidates will be held if the winner of the first round of voting fails to reach 50% of votes cast, and 20% of votes cast in half of Indonesia's provinces.

ENDS


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