Indonesia: February 9, 2001

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The demonstrations for president Wahid to resign because of corruption charges has created some strange political alignments. Most of the demonstrators are idealistic students and educated workers and professionals. The huge crowds defending Wahid are largely devout Moslems who see the attacks on Wahid as a plot by wealthy supporters of the previous dictatorship (especially the Golkar party). There are still many supporters of the old dictatorship, and many of them are in the parliament, which has approved moves to remove Wahid from office. But Wahid is a prominent Islamic leader and teacher. Before his election to president, he was the leader of a nationwide Islamic organization. Wahid's followers threaten civil war if the president is impeached. The president himself calls for calm, says he will continue pursuing corrupt officials and that he himself will not resign. 

 

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