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PM congratulates President Megawati

23 July 2001 Media Statement

PM congratulates President Megawati

Prime Minister Helen Clark tonight congratulated Megawati Sukarnoputri on her appointment as Indonesia’s President and urged all parties in Indonesia to continue pursuing peaceful and constitutional solutions to Indonesia’s current problems.

“Indonesia’s People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), which is constitutionally empowered to appoint the President, today elected Megawati Sukarnoputri to replace Abdurrahman Wahid. It was a decisive vote," Helen Clark said.

“I want to congratulate President Sukarnoputri on her appointment as the leader of the world’s fourth most populous country.

“There had been concerns that the MPR vote could be accompanied by violent demonstrations in Jakarta and elsewhere. I am relieved that today’s proceedings appear to have passed peacefully.

“New Zealand urges all of those involved - the current and former President, their supporters, the political parties and the security forces - to continue to adhere to peaceful and constitutional processes in working through this change of leadership. Indonesia’s fledgling democracy is facing a difficult test. We hope that, with the goodwill of all those involved, it will pass with flying colours.”

“I also wish former President Wahid well. His leadership was, at times, controversial. But, as Indonesia’s first democratically elected President, he promoted important principles including political and economic reform, religious tolerance and freedom of expression.”

“I was impressed by the President’s commitment to those ideals when we met in Christchurch last month. New Zealand encourages Mr Wahid to work with Indonesia’s new leadership to continue to promote those values and to consolidate further Indonesian democracy," Helen Clark said.


ENDS

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