Indonesia's Kingmaker

Army chief Wiranto has brokered a deal to end the impasse. It means Megawati's in, Habibie's out--and Wiranto is in charge

He speaks softly but wields great power, a general whom Indonesia's soldiers follow and whom civilians respect--and fear. He is central to Indonesia's political drama and its eventual economic recovery. Yet throughout the tumult of Indonesia's legislative elections in June and their aftermath, no one knew how Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Wiranto would act. Would he stand aloof from the post-election jockeying for President? Or would he preserve the Army's traditional support of Golkar, the party that backed Suharto, and his successor, B.J. Habibie?

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