Ahok meets SBY at wedding amid race for Dems' support
Ivany Atina Arbi
The Jakarta Post
Incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama confirmed on Monday that he met former president and Democratic Party chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at a wedding party on Sunday.
The meeting is potentially an ice-breaking moment in relations between the Democratic Party and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which have been strained since the beginning of Yudhoyono’s presidency.
The PDI-P gubernatorial candidate, however, refused to disclose what they had discussed during their meeting, which occurred at the wedding reception of the son of Prajogo Pangestu at Hotel Mulia in Senayan, Jakarta.
"Yes, we did meet," Ahok said. "I respect him as the sixth president," he added.
(Read also: Ahok talks to Agus over phone, sends regards to SBY)
In a photograph circulated in the media, Ahok's wife, Veronica Tan, is seen greeting Yudhoyono's wife, Ani. The husbands are standing next to their wives. All of them are smiling in the picture.
Relations between Yudhoyono and the PDI-P have been cold ever since he succeeded PDI-P chief Megawati Soekarnoputri as president, after beating her in the 2004 presidential election.
Their relations worsened recently after Yudhoyono accused Jokowi, who is also a PDI-P member, of discrediting him by granting clemency to former antigraft body chief and murder convict Antasari Azhar.
A day before the Feb. 15 election day, Antasari, who had led the prosecution of Yudhoyono's in-law Aulia Pohan, accused the former president of being part of a murder plot that led to his imprisonment.
Yudhoyono's son’s hopes of taking the capital’s top spot in the Jakarta election were crushed in the first round. The two remaining candidates, Ahok and Anies Baswedan, are now courting his party for support. (wit)
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