The Jakarta Post
Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto is due to visit the tomb of former president Soeharto at Astana Giribangun in Karanganyar regency, Central Java, on Sunday, as part of his campaign in the run-up to the July 9 presidential election.
'I have been informed about Pak Prabowo's plan, but I cannot confirm it; we haven't prepared anything because his schedule remains tentative. He may cancel the plan,' the tomb's caretaker, Sukimo, said as quoted by tempo.co on Friday.
Sukirno said that as far as he knew, Prabowo would arrive in Giribangun by helicopter from Adi Soemarmo Airport in Surakarta, Central Java, which is around 50 kilometers east of Soeharto's final resting place.
Prabowo, who is Soeharto's former son-in-law, previously said that he would name Indonesia's second president a national hero if elected; a move that many would view as controversial due to Soeharto's New Order regime and its iron-fist policy toward civil society groups and social movements.
At the start of the New Order's rule, up to 3 million people were reportedly killed for being suspected communists, while the end of Soeharto's regime - in May 1998 - was also marked by widespread violence and killings during riots that took place in a number of cities in Indonesia.
Karanganyar regency spokesperson Prada Amara said Prabowo was scheduled to arrive at Adi Soemarmo Airport at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, and from there take the helicopter ride to Astana Giribangun.
'Currently, Pak Prabowo's campaign team is trying to find a suitable place to land the helicopter around Astana Giribangun,' he said, adding that Prabowo would leave Giribangun at 12 p.m. to pray at the Surakarta Grand Mosque.
Prada said Prabowo also planned to talk with vendors at the Klewer Market in Surakarta, over lunch, and would return to Jakarta thereafter.(gda)
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