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Carter Center to Observe Indonesia Elections

CONTACT: Kay Torrance

ATLANTA…. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, his wife, Rosalynn, and former Thailand Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai will lead a 60-member international delegation to observe Indonesia's presidential elections. The Carter Center, which observed the 1999 national elections, was invited by the General Election Commission and welcomed by all major political parties to observe the July 5 elections.

"Indonesians for the first time in this new democracy will choose their president through direct elections, " said President Carter. "They have voiced a clear commitment to the democratic process, and as international observers, we will support them. When voters cast their ballots, they should do so with confidence that the international community is watching this process with interest."

President and Mrs. Carter, Chuan Leekpai, Dr. David Carroll of the Center's Democracy Program, and Eric Bjornlund, Indonesia field office director, hope to meet with all the candidates, the election commission, domestic observers, and other international observers.

Ten long-term observers were deployed over the course of May to observe campaigns and election preparations. The Center will issue this week a pre-election statement detailing their findings.

The remainder of the delegation, representing six countries, will arrive July 1 and will receive briefings in Jakarta before deployment throughout Indonesia. On election day, they will witness poll openings, voting, vote counting at polling stations, and transportation of the ballot boxes to the village organizing election committee.

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.


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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