Suharto calls for more democracy

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JAKARTA (Reuter) - President Suharto, Indonesia's authoritarian ruler for 27 years, opened the national assembly yesterday with a call for greater democracy in the South-east Asian country.

'We have been enjoying dynamic national stability for more than a quarter of a cen tury. Such stability cannot be maintained by an iron hand,' he told the People's Consultative Assembly.

The 1,000-strong assembly, made up of politicians, officials, the military and appointees, meets every five years to elect the president and the vice-president, and to set state guidelines. All the main power groups have said they will again pick Mr Suharto, aged 71, who rose to power after a coup in 1965.