International bankers are worried, but Indonesia's legislators have no doubts: President Suharto is the best man to lead the world's fourth-most populous country into the 21st century.
Delegations from all five factions in a 1,000-member assembly formally asked Suharto on Sunday to stand for election this week for a seventh five-year term.Asia's longest-serving leader accepted each group's nomination during a series of reverential meetings at his suburban Jakarta home, just two days after new doubts were raised about the progress of an International Monetary Fund bailout for Indonesia's battered economy.
"I am ready to accept this nomination and with all my ability I will lead the nation to overcome this crisis," one faction leader quoted Suharto as saying.
Despite the deep economic crisis and outbreaks of civil unrest, Suharto has no challengers in Tuesday's voting by the partly elected, partly appointed assembly, which acts a presidential electoral college.
Assembly delegates also have chosen to overlook his age - 76 - and earlier concerns about his health.
Infused with Suharto family members and friends, as well as serving and retired military officers, the assembly meets every five years under a tightly controlled political system created by Suharto.
The factions, which represent three officially recognized political parties as well as the military and regional interests, are also poised to grant Suharto new wide-ranging emergency powers to deal with the economic mess.
Suharto took control over Indonesia during a period of political upheaval in the 1960s and used emergency powers to outlaw Indonesia's communist party, which he accused of staging an abortive coup. He last had the special authority in 1988.
"He is a great leader who has successfully united this big country," Amir Santoso, a professor at the University of Indonesia, was quoted as saying by Sunday's Jakarta Post.