Yudhoyono removes son from key party position

Yudhoyono removes son from key party position

Democratic Party chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has dropped son Edhie "Ibas" Baskoro Yudhoyono from one of the party's key positions, ending speculation that the country's former president is trying to build a political dynasty.

In an announcement on Saturday about the preliminary structure of the party's central executive board for 2015 to 2020, Yudhoyono appointed party member Hinca Panjaitan, also known as a lawyer and committee member of the suspended Soccer Association of Indonesia (PSSI), to succeed Ibas as secretary-general.

Yudhoyono did not put his youngest son into any other top position announced that day.

"I did not nominate any names because I want to give freedom to the formation committee to choose and it is better for me to listen," Yudhoyono said after the announcement in Cibubur, East Jakarta.

After being reelected as party chairman, Yudhoyono established a team of nine as the formation committee to prepare the complete line-up of the party's central executive board.

Ibas, currently the party's faction leader at the House of Representatives, was a member of the committee along with other senior party members and former ministers during the Yudhoyono administration, Syariefuddin Hasan and Amir Syamsuddin.

The committee has appointed six deputy chairmen, a secretary-general, nine deputy secretaries-general, a treasurer and seven deputy treasurers.

Identifying himself as a democrat, Yudhoyono met with criticism when he accepted his reelection as party chairman last month. He was unanimously elected chairman in a national congress in Surabaya.

With Ibas still serving as secretary-general at that time, Yudhoyono was compared to another former president, Megawati Soekarnoputri, who also secured another term as Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chief this year.

Occupying the top position of PDI-P since 1996, Megawati has placed her children Puan Maharani and Prananda Prabowo on the party's central board committee for 2015 to 2020. Puan has also been appointed as Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister in President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration.

Syariefuddin, who is one of the newly appointed Democratic Party deputy chairmen, said Ibas would be tasked to focus on his role as the party faction leader. "Pak SBY wants to avoid multiple roles [played by one person]," he said.

Ibas said that he is not disappointed with the preliminary line-up, but he still hopes he will have a part in the full party structure.

"There is still the next [announcement]. Let's just wait until the full line-up is inaugurated," he said.

Yudhoyono is scheduled to announce the final structure of the party's central executive board later this month.

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