Suharto Says He'll Step Down

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With his nation of 200 million pushed to the brink of anarchy, President Suharto said Tuesday he would end his 32-year reign after reshuffling his cabinet and holding general elections. "I will not be prepared to be elected any more," the 76-year-old leader said in a 15-minute national television address. But important questions -- like just how soon he would give up power -- remain unanswered. Suharto indicated he would stay until a new parliament is elected, which could take at least several months. And if the unrest is quelled before then, he may be persuaded to change his mind.

TIME correspondent John Colmey says Indonesians aren't sure if Suharto could manage a transition. The President has to contend with skeptical students, thousands of whom gathered at the Parliament building and vowed not to leave unless he steps down at once. For the students -- still reeling after snipers gunned down six of their own last week -- promises of a gradual transfer of power simply aren't good enough: Suharto must go, and he must go now. With a large demonstration set for Wednesday, and with students promising not to leave the Parliament building, it's shaping up to be an interesting 24 hours.