The Jakarta Post
Former House of Representatives speaker Setya Novanto on Monday confirmed his candidacy for the Golkar Party chairmanship, ahead of an upcoming election set to take place during the party's national meeting (Munas), despite the Attorney General's Office's (AGO) ongoing investigation into his alleged involvement in a case surrounding contract extension negotiations for gold and copper mining firm Freeport Indonesia.
Setya said the legal process at the AGO would not affect his bid for the leadership position.
"There has been confirmed support from the Golkar Party's regional executive boards. I ask for your prayers," Setya said on Monday as quoted by Kompas.com.
He reiterated his innocence in the Freeport case, saying he did not violate any laws, misuse President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's name or ask for shares of the coal and mining giant.
Setya dismissed the allegations, saying his statement had been confirmed by National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti, who concluded in January that there was no legal justification for the launch of a criminal investigation over an alleged conversation between Setya, Freeport Indonesia president director Maroef Sjamsoeddin and business tycoon Muhammad Reza Chalid, as it did not violate any articles of the Criminal Code.
Considered the frontrunner for the position, Setya said he would unite conflicting factions in the party. Opposing camps led by Aburizal Bakrie and Agung Laksono have been in a dispute for the past year due to dual leadership.
Setya cited the importance of unity and urged consolidation in order for Golkar to become the leading national party it once was. "In the near future we are aiming for Golkar to win [the general elections] in 2019," he said. (liz/ebf)
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