Indonesia's Alatas Calls For Free, Fair Election

June 3, 1999

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Ali Alatas warned Thursday morning that social unrest and economic stagnation, as well as political turmoil, will result if the Indonesian people are not sufficiently convinced that the general election scheduled for next Monday is conducted fairly. He insisted on the importance of a free, fair and peaceful vote.

Speaking in Tokyo at an international conference titled The Future of Asia, Alatas said it was highly likely the election will be fair, considering the progress of political reforms, including the enactment of electoral laws.

Turning to his country's economy, Alatas said that through mergers and the closing down of a number of institutions, the number of financially sound banks has been brought up to 73. Indonesia's economy has bottomed out, he said, pointing out that the rupiah has stabilized and inflation has decreased.

(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Thursday evening edition)

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.