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Friday, September 24, 2004

BBC > Megawati apologises for failings

By Rachel Harvey
BBC, Jakarta
Indonesia's President Megawati Sukarnoputri, facing defeat after elections this week, has apologised for the shortcomings of her government.
Mrs Megawati's comments came in a her annual report to the upper house of parliament.
She was speaking as results suggested Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was heading for a landslide victory.
In her speech, Mrs Megawati urged people to wait until the final tally is declared.
This was almost certainly the last big state occasion Megawati Sukarnoputri will attend as president.
Run off after Mr Yudhoyono won first round
150 million registered voters on 14,000 islands
Previous leaders chosen by the legislature
Winner must tackle regional conflicts and terrorist threat
Standing before the assembled ranks of the upper house of parliament, she looked calm and composed as she delivered her assessment of her government's performance.
Progress had been made, she said, in the economic and legal spheres, but other matters remained unresolved.
"For all those shortcomings, for the things we haven't finished," said Mrs Megawati, "I ask forgiveness from parliament and from the Indonesian people whom I love."
Mrs Megawati stopped short of admitting defeat after Monday's landmark presidential elections.
But with around two thirds of the votes counted, it looks certain that her days in power are coming to an end.
European Union election monitors have hailed the presidential contest as a historic event, firmly consolidating democratic reform in Indonesia.
Laying the foundations for Indonesia's first peaceful democratic transition of power could be Megawati Sukarnoputri's greatest political achievement.
Story from BBC NEWS: /pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia -pacific/3682636.stm


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