While Megawaits

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John Stanmeyer for TIME.

Only Indonesian Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri can force the removal of the current President.

If you happen to be driving into Jakarta on the Jagorawi highway, keep your eyes open for a shiny blue Volkswagen Beetle bearing the license plate M3GA: the carefully coiffed matron behind the wheel, some say, represents Indonesia's only realistic hope of avoiding a dizzying plunge into economic and social chaos. The license plate and the four police outriders are a giveaway that the car's occupant is Indonesia's Vice President, Megawati Sukarnoputri. But ignore those and she could easily be mistaken for a middle-class housewife, out for a spin, seemingly without a care in the world.

Megawati's greatest...