Indonesia's Wahid: "We Are Beginning The Rule Of Law"

Indonesia's President holds forth on the challenges ahead

Nearly seven months in office, Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid can claim great achievements. Despite his blindness and diabetes, he has negotiated a ceasefire with separatist rebels in the gas-rich province of Aceh and staved off a military coup in Jakarta. But things look bleak on the economic front. The Indonesian rupiah and the Jakarta stock market have both tumbled in recent weeks. Wahid is taking control over economic policy from his official economic policy czar, Kwik Kian Gie--a possible sign of turmoil inside his Cabinet. He also has drawn criticism for sacking the bearers of bad news, such as the head of the Central Bureau of Statistics, which just predicted a disappointingly low 1.5% growth rate for this year, less than one-third the growth rate predicted by Wahid himself.

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