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Carter Center Opens Office in Jakarta in Preparation to Observe Indonesia's Presidential Elections


CONTACT: Kay Torrance
In Atlanta, 404-420-5129

Sophie Khan
In Jakarta, 0812-818-8842

ATLANTA…The Carter Center opened an office last week in Jakarta to begin a long-term observation of electoral conditions leading up to Indonesia's July 5 presidential elections. This observation will continue through to early October should a Sept. 20 runoff prove necessary.

"The 2004 elections will be the first electoral test of Indonesia's democratic political institutions and processes since the transitional elections in 1999, and a critical opportunity to demonstrate that the democratic process can yield effective leaders and accountable government," said Dr. David Pottie, senior program associate of the Center's Democracy Program.

After 40 years of military-backed governments, Indonesia began a democratic transition in 1998. In June 1999, Indonesia held its first genuinely democratic elections, for the legislature, a process that was monitored by The Carter Center. The Center and other international organizations that observed the elections concluded the elections were credible and representing the will of the people.

Although Indonesians have gained new political freedoms during the last six years, recent public opinion polls have found that most Indonesians are disillusioned with government and the country's economic decline.

A Carter Center assessment team in January met with political parties, election officials, civil society and observer groups, all of whom encouraged international observers from the Center to help build confidence in the elections.

Carter Center Jakarta Field Office Director Eric Bjornlund and Deputy Director Sophie Khan will oversee pre-election observation activities, including the deployment of 10 long-term observers, who will travel across Indonesia to report on technical preparations for the vote.

The Center will publish periodic statements on its findings and recommendations on its Web site,


The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 65 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production. To learn more about The Carter Center, please visit:

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