Wahid Accuses 'Arrogant' MPs Of Constitutional Ignorance
Embattled Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid on Tuesday accused MPs trying to unseat him of failing to understand they were constitutionally in the wrong.
"The government can only be impeached or put on trial if it has committed treason. They apparently do not understand the constitution," Wahid said, according to state news agency Antara.
Legislators are close to impeaching Wahid over his performance as president through a second censure motion, a follow-up to one issued in February following two financial scandals.
Parliament will decide on April 30 whether to issue the second motion, which could set the stage for impeachment as early as August.
Wahid branded the MPs "arrogant" for expecting him to answer for his performance as president, saying they could only demand accountability at the end of his five-year term.
"The government cannot be asked to account for its performance...," Wahid said during a lecture at a school in Malang, a city in his home province and stronghold, East Java.
And as Wahid issued his defiant reproach, in the jungles of East Java, Wahid loyalists who have pledged to defend the president spurned orders to cease almost two weeks of guerilla-style training.
"The training will go ahead. It's for self-defense," said Wiro Sugiman, leader of the 52,000-strong organisation from which the trainees are drawn.
Sugiman told AFP on Tuesday from the East Javan capital, Surabaya, that his group, the Front for the Defenders of Truth, would travel to Jakarta in the last week of April and occupy parliament.
"No one can stop us, not even Gus Dur (Wahid's nickname) or the police. We'll stop our activities only when those in parliament stop trying to oust the president," he said.
National police chief Suroyo Bimantoro was quoted by newspapers on Tuesday as ordering his men in East Java to end the exercises – JAKARTA (AFP)
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