National

Tommy Soeharto eyes Golkar
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The youngest son of the late former president Soeharto, Hutomo “Tommy” Mandala Putra, announced his bid Tuesday for the post of Golkar Party chief.

Despite his unheralded political career, Tommy threw down the gauntlets on Golkar chief patrons Surya Paloh and Aburizal Bakrie, top lawmaker Ferry Mursyidan Baldan and young executive Yuddy Chrisnandi for the post, which is to be contested during the party's national congress on Oct. 4-7 in the Riau's capital, Pekanbaru.

“Now it’s time for me to return to politics, apart from running business,” Tommy was quoted as saying by Antara news agency.

Tommy said he never quit Golkar and therefore deserved an opportunity, as a member of the party that helped his father rule the country for three decades in the past.
“I have to set the target high, including in politics,” he added.

Tommy claimed that after 10 years of absence from politics, he felt compelled to contribute to the party, which recently suffered a double defeat in both the legislative and presidential elections.

The North Jakarta District Court sentenced Tommy to 15 years in jail in 2002 for a premeditated murder and illegal possession of arms, but the Supreme Court cut his imprisonment to 10 years in 2002.

The government granted him a total of 31 months in remission before releasing him conditionally in October 2006, a verdict that saw many raised eyebrows over the government’s sense of justice.

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