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World IN BRIEF / INDONESIA

Province Can Vote on Future, Wahid Says

November 10, 1999|From Times Wire Reports

Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid said he is willing to allow a referendum on independence in oil-rich Aceh province in northern Sumatra. He added, however, that he is confident its people would decide to remain part of Indonesia. "If we can hold a referendum in East Timor, why not in Aceh?" Wahid said in Manila during his first trip abroad since his Oct. 20 election. On Monday, at least 500,000 people swept into Banda Aceh, the provincial capital, to demand the right to a referendum. However, the speaker of Indonesia's parliament, Akbar Tanjung, said today that parliament members do not want Aceh to hold a referendum, the official Antara news agency reported.

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