Friday, August 21, 2009

Murder Conviction No Obstacle to Suharto's Son's Aspirations

Tommy Suharto: “I Want to Inherit Golkar” (His late father, President Suharto’s political party machine)

Tommy Suharto made a dramatic return to the country’s political stage on Tuesday, declaring his readiness to run for chairman of the Golkar Party, the political vehicle used by his autocrat father who ruled Indonesia for more than three decades.

Tommy, whose full name is Hutomo Mandala Putra, has kept a low public profile since being released on parole from prison in October 2006, presumably to concentrate on his business interests, but now he is professing a higher calling to return to the nationalist party once controlled by late President Suharto.

Golkar, currently in political disarray after a disappointing showing in both the legislative and presidential elections this year, will hold its national congress in Pekanbaru, Riau, from Oct. 4. The congress is crucial in deciding the party leadership for the next five years.

Tommy said his eagerness to chair the party was triggered by a sense of duty.

Tommy was convicted in 2002 of ordering the murder of Supreme Court Justice Syafiuddin Kartasasmita after he found him guilty on corruption charges.

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