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Late checks on Indonesia poll lists ahead of vote

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Abdul Hafiz Anshary (C), the head of the General Election Commission (KPU), poses with presidential candidate Jusuf Kalla (2nd L) and his running mate Wiranto (L), and presidential candidate Megawati Sukarnoputri (2nd R) and her running mate Prabowo Subianto (R) after their meeting in Jakarta July 6, 2009.

Late checks on Indonesia poll lists ahead of vote

JAKARTA (Reuters) – The two challengers for Indonesia’s presidency started cross-checking electoral rolls on the eve of polling on Tuesday, after lodging complaints that the sprawling country’s voter lists were riddled with irregularities.

Opinion polls have consistently shown that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will trounce his rivals, winning a second term and a chance to quicken the pace of reform in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

The objections to the voting process, led by Yudhoyono’s challengers, former president Megawati Sukarnoputri and Vice President Jusuf Kalla, are not expected to derail the election.

However, analysts said the complaints could be a tactic aimed at fanning public doubt about the credibility of the process and pave the way for the losing contestants to challenge the result.

Security was stepped up in the capital, Jakarta, and other parts of the country on Tuesday because of fears that wrangling over the credibility of the register of some 176.3 million voters could spark protests in the world’s third-largest democracy.

“People should not be confused, and this should not make the world view what is happening in our country as abnormal,” Yudhoyono told reporters late on Monday, urging his rivals not to act improperly ahead of the vote.

A victory for Yudhoyono would most likely bring a renewed push for reform to attract foreign investment, create jobs and drive economic, which has slowed from 6.1 percent in 2008 and is expected to come in at between 3 and 4 percent this year.

If he wins the first round with more than half the votes, on the back of his modest success in tackling graft and the best economic performance in a decade, stocks, bonds and the rupiah are likely to surge on hopes of a more ambitious reform plan in his next five-year term and beyond.

However, the atmosphere was tense in Papua, where extra police and special forces were on standby after recent violence linked to separatists in the remote province.

Papuans wearing traditional penis gourds looked on as booths were set up using traditional woven bags instead of ballot boxes.

A victory for Yudhoyono would most likely bring a renewed push for reform to attract foreign investment, create jobs and drive economic, which has slowed from 6.1 percent in 2008 and is expected to come in at between 3 and 4 percent this year.

“We hope to be able to see a continuation of the reforms that we already started,” Trade Minister Mari Pangestu told Reuters in an interview, adding that the new government would need to send “a strong signal that we are moving in the right direction”.

If Yudhoyono takes more than half of the votes in the vote there will be no need for a run-off with the runner-up. A clear picture of the result should emerge by around 2 p.m. (0700 GMT).

Analysts say a victory for Yudhoyono, widely known as “SBY”, would come on the back of his modest success in tackling graft and the best economic performance in a decade.

Stocks, bonds and the rupiah have rallied this year on the prospect of a Yudhoyono win, and analysts see them rising further on hopes for a heftier reform drive in his next five-year term.

The rupiah , the best-performing currency in Asia so far in 2009, eased 0.3 percent against the dollar in afternoon trade on Tuesday. Indonesian stocks, which are up 50 percent so far this year, were up about 1 percent

Indonesian sovereign bond prices have also rallied in the last few months, with yields set to fall further if foreign investors return after the presidential election, traders said.

Concern over the voting lists arose first in the run-up to a parliamentary election in April, when duplicate and fictitious names were found on rolls and some voters were not registered.

Tension over the issue was partly defused on Monday when key demands made by Kalla and Megawati were met, including their request to receive copies of the electoral rolls.

Indicating that Yudhoyono’s opponents were backing away from earlier suggestions they could ask for the poll to be postponed, Megawati on Tuesday urged her supporters to go out and vote.

But her running-mate, Prabowo Subianto, said he still believed there were a minimum of 10 million names with problems.

“We expect it could be potentially as many as 20 million names,” the former general told a news conference.

An economist at the Danareksa Institute played down the prospect of violence over the list dispute.

“I think the losing parties will complain but I don’t think they will challenge in a serious way,” said Purbaya Yudhi Sadewa.

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INDONESIA ELECTION EYE – Goldman flags post-vote risks

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Indonesian presidential candidate Jusuf Kalla, accompanied by his wife Mufidah Jusuf Kalla, speaks to his supporters during a rally in Malang, East Java province July 4, 2009.

INDONESIA ELECTION EYE – Goldman flags post-vote risks

AKARTA (Reuters) – The following is a snapshot of recent developments in Indonesia’s presidential election campaign ahead of voting on July 8.

Three presidential-vice presidential teams are running: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his deputy, former central bank governor Boediono; former President Megawati Sukarnoputri and her deputy, Prabowo Subianto; and Vice President Jusuf Kalla and his deputy, Wiranto.

The source of each report is in brackets.

GOLDMAN REVISES UP GROWTH FORECASTS, HIGHLIGHTS POLL RISKS

* Goldman Sachs has revised up its 2009 Indonesian economic growth forecast to 4.2 percent from 3.5 previously, while lifting its 2010 growth forecast to 5.2 percent from 4.5 percent helped by resilient domestic demand and stimulus measures. Goldman highlighted four issues to monitor after the July 8 vote, including the formation of a credible cabinet, any leadership change in the Golkar Party, the nomination of a new governor of the central bank and the implementation of fiscal stimulus. Further ahead, it said longer-term challenges included institutional reforms, infrastructure plans, protecting the credibility of monetary policy and consolidiation of the fiscal position.

(Goldman Sachs: Asia Economics Flash)

KALLA AND MEGAWATI URGE POLL BODY TO REVISE LISTS

* Kalla and Megawati have called on the General Election Commission (KPU) to fix what they said were huge irregularities in the electoral roll and allow citizens to use identity cards to vote. The candidates stopped short of calling for the election to be delayed, but in a joint statement said they could call for a delay if the KPU rejected their allegations that millions had been left off the final list while tens of millions of duplicate names remained. The candidates said they would meet KPU officials on Monday. (Jakarta Post, Bisnis Indonesia, Kompas, Jakarta Globe, Republika, Media Indonesia)

ELECTION WATCHDOG WARNS PUBLIC OVER CAMPAIGN VIOLATIONS

* The public should monitor possible campaign violations during the three-day calm period, including displaying campaign banners or handing out cash to voters, said Wirdyaningsih, a member of the Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu). (Jakarta Post, Bisnis Indonesia)

PDI-P SECRETARY GENERAL SAYS READY TO LEAD THE PARTY

* Pramono Anung, secretary general of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said he would be interested in taking the leadership of the party if Megawati stepped down from her post after the election. (Jakarta Globe)

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the election canceled the second round of voting was re-elected

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the election canceled the second round of voting was re-elected

BEIJING, November 3, according to Xinhua Hong Kong “Ta Kung Pao,” a comprehensive report on the 3rd, the Afghan Independent Electoral Commission announced on the 2nd, originally scheduled on the 7th presidential elections in Afghanistan, held a second round of voting has been abolished, the incumbent President Hamid Karzai was for re-election.

A presidential election, one of the two candidates on the 1st Abdullah announced that the fairness of the election there is no assurance that he was originally scheduled for this month on the 7th boycott the presidential election second round of voting. Previously, he has repeatedly accused the Electoral Commission with Hamid Karzai of fraud; three candidates proposed by the conditions demanded the removal of Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission A Ludin; ask the Afghan Minister of the Interior, Minister of Education, tribal ministers suspended, in order to ensure that they do not organize local officials, students and tribal leaders fraud; A request to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the presence of observers to ensure that funds are not used for A treasury of cheating in elections and the government will not exert influence around the mosque. Abdullah asked Karzai to accept these terms before the end of October, but was flatly rejected Karzai.

A political observer Wahid – Moid pointed out that the party concerned that Abdullah, the second round of voting fraud to be as serious as with the first round, Karzai will be easy to win. In this case, Abdullah re-election will only increase the legitimacy of Karzai. In fact, Abdullah had boycotted the second round of voting for the preparation. In the first round results were announced, Karzai to immediately launch a new round of campaigning, Abdullah is on hold.

Ludin day, at a news conference in Kabul, said Abdullah quit because of the election, Hamid Karzai became the only candidate. In order to avoid wasting money and unfortunate incidents occurred in the election, the Electoral Commission decided to no longer be held in the second round of voting, Karzai was elected the next president.

The spokesman said Abdullah Abdullah does not accept the Election Commission’s decision, Karzai was elected “lack of legitimacy” that the decision “will further complicate the situation in Afghanistan.”

Analysts refer to the second round of voting canceled, Karzai re-elected, the United Nations and the United States reflects the success of mediation. However, Karzai’s re-election of the rights would be restricted and decentralized.

Is now in Kabul UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement to congratulate Karzai’s election.

Afghanistan, August 20 presidential elections. According to preliminary results, Karzai won 54.6% of the vote. But the United Nations-sponsored Arab-Israeli Election Complaints Commission investigation report released October 19 that there is a serious election fraud, ask the Afghan Election Commission recount. According to the results of a recount, Karzai did not exceed 50% of the votes. A Election Commission then decided that the first round of votes by the first two of Hamid Karzai and Abdullah held on November 7 to participate in the second round of voting.

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