The Jakarta Post
Tommy Soeharto, the youngest son of Soeharto, the longest running ruler of Indonesia, has gained support to run for the presidency in 2019 from the Parsindo Party and from his own Beringin Karya (Berkarya) Party.
“Three months ago we [Parsindo] met with Tommy's Beringin Karya Party. He asked us to unite as one party,” Parsindo secretary-general Ahmad Hadari said on Sunday, as quoted by tempo.co.
“We rejected the merger idea, but we’re open to a coalition with the Berkarya Party or any party that supports Tommy Soeharto,” Ahmad added.
(Read also: Soeharto family gains momentum for political revival)
Ahmad claimed that Parsindo had welded support for Tommy from LIRA, a mass organization that he co-founded and that has offices across the country.
“We are sure the 2019 election will be a war between the Soeharto dynasty and the Sukarno dynasty,” Ahmad said.
Back in 2016, the birth of the new party, Berkarya, was not well accepted by the Golkar Party, the main supporter of Soeharto when he ruled the country for 32 years. The use of the beringin tree, which was the infamous symbol of Golkar, was seen as copying the party’s values and vision. Akbar Tanjung, the former chairman of Golkar, in May also said that Beringin Karya was only “trying to get people's attention” by making a new party.
However, the Berkarya Party was already legalized by the Law and Human Rights Ministry in Oct. 13, 2016, as an official political party in Indonesia and is currently in the process of getting factual verification by the General Elections Commission.
Tommy was once convicted for a role in the murder of Supreme Court justice Syafiuddin Kartasasmita. He was arrested in 2001 and released in September 2006. (hol/wit)
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