Friday, July 02, 2004

A former officer in Suharto's regime is poised to win the Indonesian election, although if a run-off is necessary the result wouldn't be final until September.

To his credit Susilo's past doesn't indicate terribly authortarian tendencies -- as minister for security affairs under Wahid (before Wahid's impeachment), he refused to declare a state of emergency that would have given Wahid an excuse to disband parliament. He's also arguably the strongest anti-terorrism candidate.

In other words, if you are so American-centric as to think foreign voters actually give a damn about you when casting their ballots, this could be the first major election that can't be read as a repudiation of Bush's foreign policy.

Then again, Susilo's popularity partly stems from his habit of telling his bosses to go Cheney themselves...

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