Yudhoyono wins presidential first round, bombing remarks cause storm

The KPU placed Yudhoyono and his running-mate Boediono way ahead of nearest rival, Megawati Sukarnoputri, who had 26.8 per cent, and former Vice-President Jusuf Kalla, who won 12.4 per cent.

Megawati and her running mate, Prabowo Subianto, have complained of electoral fraud, as have other campaigners.

Controversy continues over Yudhoyo’s controversial remarks after last week’s bombings in Jakarta, when he appeared to compare critics of the election’s conduct to the bombers.

Reacting to the attacks, Yudhoyono mentioned intelligence reports of “terrorists who used my picture for target practice [and of] … plans to occupy the General Elections Commission on the day the final vote is announced”.

He also accused his opponents of plotting “a revolution if Yudhoyono wins, that Indonesia was going to be made like Iran, and at the end Yudhoyono would not be allowed to be sworn in”.

On Wednesday, after critics accused Yudhoyono of using the methods of deposed President Suharto, he told a meeting of his Democratic Party that the press had distorted what he said. But the controversy continues.

Police on Thursday arrested a suspected would-be suicide bomber in the central Java district of Cilicap. On Wednesday in the same area, they arrested a woman they believe to be the wife of Noordin Mohammed Top, the Malysian-born leader of a breakaway faction of the Jemaah Islamiya terror network suspected of involvement in the blasts.



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