New President Bacharuddin Habibie yesterday decided against holding elections this year, risking fresh protests against his rule. Parliamentary Speaker Harmoko emerged from a meeting with Mr Habibie and senior cabinet ministers to warn that speedy elections were an impossibility. 'They still need time to make preparations which include [deciding] the participants and the system,' said Mr Harmoko. 'This is expected to be completed in 1999.' But the date was greeted as too late by Hendardi, of the Association for Legal Aid and Human Rights. 'The people cannot wait that long,' he said. Muslim opposition leader Amien Rais also rejected the plan. He urged Mr Habibie to hold open and democratic elections within two months. As Mr Harmoko spoke, 400 students gathered outside parliament to demand the immediate resignation of Mr Habibie and the creation of a people's committee to replace parliament and the executive pending a new presidential election. 'Hang, hang Habibie. Hang Habibie next to Suharto,' chanted the students, who were not allowed into the grounds, in contrast to last week's protests against the Suharto government. Opposition figures have warned that Mr Habibie must move fast to hold open elections under new laws. Labour leader Muchtar Pakpahan warned on his release from prison that violence and demonstrations could flare within a month if Mr Habibie does not stand down. Mr Habibie has pledged sweeping changes but has yet to detail them. He inherited Mr Suharto's mandate to rule until 2003 and holding elections before then would require special sittings of the 1,000-member People's Consultative Assembly (MPR). Long seen as a Suharto rubber-stamp, constitutional law experts nevertheless say the MPR must still approve changes. Present laws place heavy restrictions on election campaigning and candidates must be vetted by the Government. Indonesia's military has issued arrest warrants for 19 security personnel wanted over the fatal shooting of six campus protesters two weeks ago. The killings sparked three days of deadly rioting in Jakarta.