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Subject: RDP: Rais supports referendum
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 17:15:49 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <>

November 13, 1998, Friday

Opposition leader Amien Rais committed to hold Timor referendum if elected

RDP Antena 1 radio, Lisbon, in Portuguese 1400 gmt 11 Nov 98

[Presenter] One of the main Indonesian opposition leaders, Amien Rais, said in an interview with RDP1 earlier today that if he were elected a referendum in East Timor would be one of his priorities. Luis Nascimento also heard him advocate that former President Suharto should be tried.

[Nascimento] Amien Rais had previously said he agreed with a referendum in East Timor, but this time he committed himself to it: if he becomes the leader of the next Indonesian government he will carry out a referendum in the territory. Furthermore, he said that East Timor would be a priority of his government.

[Rais, in English, with Portuguese overlaid] Yes, if I lead the government then it will be a priority, because this has been my long-standing position. I am not going to change my position because a referendum is the wisest and best solution for the East Timorese people.

[Nascimento] Amien Rais believes that, without a referendum, there is no solution for East Timor except in a new Indonesia... Rais believes that a coalition government might emerge from May's general elections.

[Rais] I think so, because what happened yesterday was a clear sign that opposition parties will join forces to change the current status quo. We have to unite our parties to change the current state of affairs for ever.

[Nascimento] Amien Rais wants Suharto to be tried, a deserved trial for the man who ruled Indonesia with an iron fist for over 30 years.

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