Abdurrahman Wahid or Gus Dur as he is popularly nicknamed, became the third ever Indonesian president amidst great hopes for economic, political and social change. His government is a compromise between the so-called "reforming" bourgeoisie and the interests of those capitalists/military layers who benefited most from the Suharto era. Even if the opinion polls indicate a high degree of support and confidence in the new government, very rapidly the masses will take their fate in their own hands, because this government will be unable to resolve the urgent questions facing the poor masses. Although the economic situation stands first in people’s preoccupations, the most immediate threat to the new government comes from the risk of disintegration of the Indonesian Archipelago.
The elections of June 7th in Indonesia were seized upon by the masses as an opportunity to express their rejection of the Habibie-Suharto regime and to unseat it. Although some layers of the student movement and workers activists called for a boycott of those elections their appeal had no significant impact amongst the masses. The massive rallies organised by the so-called "reform parties," especially in the capital Jakarta, attracted hundreds of thousands of supporters.