Running mate to Megawati? No way

JAKARTA – Parliamentary Speaker Akbar Tandjung sought to downplay suggestions yesterday that he would team up as a running mate to Ms Megawati Sukarnoputri in the case of a leadership change.

He said if President Abdurrahman Wahid were to fall, Ms Megawati, who is now Vice-President, would be his constitutional successor.

Who would fill the Vice-President’s post would be decided by the new Indonesian leader and Parliament, he added.

He said his Golkar party was unlikely to nominate him or any other candidate for the vice-presidency.

He said: “If Megawati fails as President, it will also reflect badly on Golkar. It is better for us to remain in opposition until 2004.

“Golkar’s target is the next general election. Then, we will be interested in seeking power.”

He was also confident that the former ruling party would improve its showing at the next election.

“We lost a lot of votes in the last election because we were identified with the Suharto regime,” he said.

“The climate then was not too favourable for us. But in 2004, we will regain lost ground by winning over voters upset with the performance of the PDI-P and the newer political parties.”

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