Saturday, August 30, 2008

Indonesia Election '09: Deadlock

It may not have the snappy ring of Bush v. Gore, but Megawati Sukarnoputri v. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono may have a similar electoral result. A new poll shows the two presumed presidential candidates locked in a virtual dead heat, 28% for Megawati edging out 27% for the current Indonesian president.

The anemic showing by Yudhoyono is largely attributed to his earlier hiking of fuel prices, unpopular but perhaps fiscally necessary. And former leader Megawati will always have the lure of her golden name, as the daughter of Indonesia's founding father Sukarno - himself shuffled out by Suharto decades ago, but still revered in many quarters.

Let's hope a razor-close election doesn't end up like the 2000 American version, in the country's courts. At any rate, the combat is still a long way off: July '09. And as they say, a week is a lifetime in politics.

Here's AP's rundown of the new poll:

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