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April 23, 2014  |  About the Berkley Center  |  Directions to the Center  |  Subscribe
 
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Indonesia
Indonesian society seeks to balance between heavy religious influences and a largely secular democratic government that holds monotheism as one of its fundamental...

Megawatisukarnoputri

Megawati Sukarnoputri

Megawati Sukarnoputri is Indonesia's second democratically elected president (2001-4), and the fourth woman to be head of a Muslim-majority state. Despite being daughter of Sukarno, leader of Indonesia's independence and its first president, she avoided politics until 1987. Megawati played a prominent role in the pro-democracy movement of the late 1990s, and her party secured a plurality of votes in the 1999 legislative elections. However, objections from religious conservatives prevented her from securing the presidency. Instead she became Vice-President under Abdurrahaman Wahid, until his dismissal in 2001 left her as head of state. Her administration was criticized as ineffective in dealing with corruption and rising Islamic radicalism, particularly in light of the 2002 Bali bombings. She sought re-election in 2004 with Hasyim Muzadi, chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, as her running mate, but lost the contest to Yudhoyono.