The Torch Passes

John Stanmeyer/VII for TIME.

Abdurrahman Wahid's daughter Yenny consoles the ex-President on his last night in the palace.

When the scorpion tanks clattered to a halt outside the Istana Merdeka palace in Jakarta, Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid was relieved. "Maybe they're here to protect the palace," he remarked. But when his daughter pointed out that the tanks had swiveled their guns toward the white, colonnaded executive residence, aiming straight at his presidential balcony, Wahid knew he had lost his game of brinkmanship: the powerful Indonesian security forces had switched loyalties to his Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

For a while last week, Indonesia had an embarrassment of Presidents. Even after Wahid was impeached and the People's Consultative...

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