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Indonesia Politicians Allege Fraud in Parliamentary Poll


Indonesian opposition politicians said last week's parliamentary elections were the worst since autocratic President Suharto stepped down in 1998.

A group of opposition leaders - including former presidents Megawati Sukarnoputri and Abdurrahman Wahid - issued a joint statement Tuesday alleging widespread election fraud.

The statement, read aloud by Ms. Megawati during a meeting at her home, said the April 9 elections were far from fair. It said problems with voters' lists deprived millions of Indonesians of their constitutional right to choose their representatives.

Former generals and several candidates in the upcoming presidential election in July signed the statement, which stopped short of an outright rejection of the parliamentary election results.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono acknowledged at a Tuesday Cabinet meeting that there were problems with voter lists. He said the election commission will resolve the issues before the July 8 poll.

Unofficial results gave Mr. Yudhoyono's Democratic Party a victory with about 20 percent of the vote. The early results put the Democratic Party ahead of its coalition partner, Golkar party, and Ms. Megawati's Democratic Party of Struggle. Each are projected to win 14 percent of last Thursday's vote.

Final results are not expected until May.

The election was Indonesia's third since the end of President Suharto's autocratic 30-year reign in 1998. Since then Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation and also home to many other minorities, has undergone a major political reforms, though corruption remains an issue.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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