The Jakarta Post
Former president and Democratic Party chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will return the presidential car the government has lent to him on his own initiative, say party executives.
Party spokesperson Rachland Nasidik said Yudhoyono had been allowed to continue to use the Mercedes Benz S-600 when he left office in 2014.
Rachland cited Law No. 7/1978, which stipulates that the government provide certain facilities for former presidents and vice presidents when they leave office, including a car and driver.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo meets with his predecessor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on March 9.(State palace/Laily Rachev)
Rachland said that at the time of Yudhoyono’s retirement, the government was yet to procure a new vehicle for him due to budget issues. “That is why the Setneg [state secretariat] temporarily lent a car to Pak SBY and also Pak Boediono [former vice president],” said Rachland as quoted by kompas.com.
Rachland further added that it was Yudhoyono’s initiative to return the car.
(Read also: SBY, Jokowi mend ties before Jakarta race)
Similarly, party secretary Hinca Pandjaitan brushed off reports that Yudhoyono had used the VVIP car illegally.
In his Twitter account, he accused individuals within President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's inner circle of making "slanderous" statement aimed at "damaging" Yudhoyono's relationship with Jokowi.
34........ jangan ada upaya upaya di internal istana yg mengganggu hubungan baik jokowi SBY demi kepentingan sendiri atau kelompoknya— HincaPandjaitanXIII (@hincapandjaitan) March 21, 2017
Previously, Darmansjah Djumala, head of the Presidential Secretariat, confirmed that Yudhoyono had been lent the presidential car.
“Just a few weeks ago, Yudhoyono expressed a commitment that the car will be returned,” he said on Tuesday. (mrc/bbs)