JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ Supporters of rival Muslim-based political parties clashed on Java, Indonesia's main island, police said today. Five people were killed.

Central Java police commander Maj. Gen. Nurfaizi said the deaths occurred Friday when members of the National Awakening Party and the United Development Party fought each other at Jepara, 370 miles east of the capital, Jakarta.

He told the privately-owned SCTV network that violence broke out after the two parties staged separate rallies in the town.

Nurfaizi did not say how the victims were killed. At least 14 vehicles and two houses were burned. He made no mention of injuries.

The town was calm today, he said.

Indonesia is bracing itself for an upsurge in violence in coming weeks ahead of a June 7 parliamentary election.

The ballot is to be the first held since the resignation of authoritarian President Suharto a year ago.

During his 32-year reign, political activity was strictly controlled and only three officially sanctioned parties were permitted to take part in elections.

This time 48 parties are to contest the ballot for a new legislature, which will later help select a president.

Suharto's successor, President B.J. Habibie, says the election will be the freest held in Indonesia since 1955. He has called for a peaceful campaign period.

However, most observers say it is inevitable that violence will occur, particularly after campaigning officially starts later this month.

Even during the Suharto era campaigning was marred by violence. Supporters of various parties often take part in massive rallies that are later followed by noisy street parades sometimes infiltrated by rivals.

During recent weeks several political rallies have resulted in clashes.