German leader says Indonesianelection sends signal to Asia

5th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

5 October 2004, BERLIN - German Federal President Horst Koehler on Tuesday hailed Indonesia's first-ever direct presidential election as proof that democracy is not linked to certain cultural or social systems. In a message congratulating former general Susilo Bamban Yudhoyono on his landslide victory, President Koehler said: "The peaceful course of the election year in your country sends out a signal which goes far beyond Southeast Asia." "Democracy is a worldwide form of government which is not bound to

5 October 2004

BERLIN - German Federal President Horst Koehler on Tuesday hailed Indonesia's first-ever direct presidential election as proof that democracy is not linked to certain cultural or social systems.

In a message congratulating former general Susilo Bamban Yudhoyono on his landslide victory, President Koehler said: "The peaceful course of the election year in your country sends out a signal which goes far beyond Southeast Asia."

"Democracy is a worldwide form of government which is not bound to certain cultural or social systems," said Koehler in an apparent reference to the fact that Indonesia - with a population of 238 million of whom some 87 percent are Muslim - is the biggest Islamic country in the world.

Koehler said the high level of voter participation in Indonesian elections showed the people were determined to take their fate into their own hands.

Final results from Indonesia's 20 September presidential election gave Yudhoyono some 60.6 percent, compared with incumbent President Megawati Sukarnoputri who took just 39.4 percent.

DPA

Subject: German news

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