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Defer Non-essential Travel To Jakarta - PM

Travel to Indonesia’s capital Jakarta should be avoided unless it is essential, Prime Minister Helen Clark said this afternoon.

Indonesia’s legislative assembly is today holding impeachment hearings against President Abdurrahman Wahid in defiance of the President’s emergency decree to disband Parliament.

Police and military had refused the aging and ailing president's call to implement a state of emergency and halt the impeachment hearing, and have instead deployed troops and tanks to allow the hearing to go ahead.

Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri looks certain to be appointed President of Indonesia, after just 20 troubled months in the top job for Wahid.

“He appears to have lost the confidence of the legislative assembly,” said Miss Clark at today’s post-cabinet press conference.

The Prime Minister said developments in Indonesia are very distressing, but anticipated the new Government would want to maintain good relations with New Zealand.

Miss Clark said Wahid had taken on a programme of reform and hoped Megawati would have a similar agenda of rooting out corruption in Indonesian society.

She said she expected the prosecution of Private Leonard Manning's killers not to fall by the wayside.

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