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Goff Praises Election Process in Indonesia

Fri, 24 Sep 2004


Goff Praises Election Process in Indonesia

Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff has praised Indonesia's first direct election of a President as a landmark in progressing democracy in Indonesia.

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Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff has praised Indonesia's first direct election of a President as a landmark in progressing democracy in Indonesia.

"The elections were conducted efficiently, with a two-thirds turnout at the poll. This level of participation is better than many established western democracies.

"All reports, including from our own electoral observation team, have described the election as free, fair and peaceful.

"The ability to transfer power peacefully is the distinguishing feature of a democratic culture.

"It appears that Mr Yudhoyono has won by a decisive margin and gained a clear mandate from the public. If the formal results confirm this, he will deserve our warmest congratulations and our cooperation and support for the challenging assignment ahead.

"New Zealand welcomes his election and wishes him well in tackling the major challenges of curbing corruption, and promoting security and economic reform to which he has committed himself.

"Mr Yudhoyono comes to his new responsibilities with considerable experience - including as Coordinating Minister for Security. I met with him in this capacity last year.

"He served as a senior officer in the UN peace-keeping force in Bosnia and was well regarded by New Zealanders who worked alongside him there.

"He has a reputation for being open-minded, responsive and an advocate for moderate reform. He has promoted the neutrality of the military in political affairs and supports the secular tradition of Indonesia.

"He has also distinguished himself as a forceful opponent of terrorism.

"I would also acknowledge the contribution of President Megawati Sukarnoputri, in particular her introduction of the direct election of the Presidency, and for overseeing the continuing transition of Indonesia to a fully democratic country," Mr Goff said.

ENDS


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