'I thought it was Golkar': Jokowi quips when asked about taking over leadership of PDI-P from Megawati

JAKARTA: President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo (pic) has shrugged off speculation that he was scheming to take over the leadership of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), saying this was not the first time he had received this type of accusation.

President Jokowi, who is expected to step down on Oct 20 this year, responded to a claim made by PDI-P secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto about his possible takeover of the party leadership by saying that the same accusation had been made about him and the Golkar Party.

"They said that I want to take over Golkar, control Golkar. How is it possible that I want to take over everything? Please don't make that speculation," Jokowi was quoted by Antara.

In a public event late last week, Hasto claimed that Jokowi had dispatched one of his senior aides to contact a respected professor who was then given the task of relaying a message to PDI-P chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri about his intention to lead the party.

Hasto claimed that the professor in question was former regional autonomy minister Ryas Raasyid, who currently serves as a lecturer at the Institute of Public Administration (IPDN).

"Pak Ryaas Rasyid was tasked to persuade Ibu Megawati to relinquish her party leadership," Hasto said.

Last month, speculation was rife that outgoing President Jokowi was trying to take control of Golkar to retain the influence he racked up during a decade in power and protect it from his successor Prabowo Subianto.

Jokowi is seeking to install a key ally as chairman of Golkar, said a number of politicians within the party who have direct knowledge of the matter.

Jokowi is also looking to secure a position as head of the party's advisory board, a role that traditionally holds sway over the party leader. - The Jakarta Post/ANN

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Indonesia , Joko Widodo , PDI-P , leadeship


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