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Jakarta to deploy 10,000 soldiers, tanks for elections

Agence France Presse - February 21, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesian security authorities will deploy 10,000 policemen and soldiers backed by tanks in the capital to safeguard general elections with campaigning getting under way in April, a report said Friday.

Military chief General Feisal Tanjung inspected the 10,000 troops at the huge open parking lot of the Senayan sports complex, the Republika daily said.

The troops, supporters by scores of armoured vehicles and British-made Scorpion tanks, helicopters, motorcycles and other vehicles, will assure security and order during the elections in the Greater Jakarta area which includes the capital and the surrounding towns of Tangerang and Bekasi.

Indonesians are scheduled to go to the polls on 29 May, after a 27-day campaign period which ends five days before the elections.

The ruling GOLKAR, the Muslim-led United Development Party and the small, conflict-plagued Indonesian Democracy Party will vie for the 425 parliamentary seats. Another 75 seats are filled by presidential appointees from the ranks of the military, who do not vote in elections.