Indonesia president’s family tightens grip on stumbling ruling party

Updated 14 February 2013
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Indonesia president’s family tightens grip on stumbling ruling party

JAKARTA: Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has turned to one of his sons to help him rescue the ruling party which opinion polls suggest faces crushing defeat in an election next year.
Late last week, Yudhoyono effectively ditched the chairman of the Democratic Party, who has become its latest member to be embroiled in a corruption scandal. Yudhoyono said he would take charge of the party.
“I will concentrate on performing my duties as secretary general of the Democratic Party,” the Kompas daily website quoted the son, Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono, commonly called Ibas, as saying, adding he was stepping down as a member of Parliament.
The comments also follow some media criticism of the son for rarely turning up at Parliament.
The Democratic Party’s latest problems surround its chairman, Anas Urbaningrum, who has been linked to a graft case involving the construction of a sports stadium. A leaked document widely reported in the media said he had been named a suspect in the case by the powerful Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) but there has been no official confirmation.
Anas, who remains nominal party chairman, went on national television yesterday to sign an integrity pledge Yudhoyono told all party members to agree to as part of attempts to raise the party’s badly damaged reputation.
In December, Yudhoyono’s sports minister was forced to step down after being named as a suspect in a bribery investigation by the KPK.
Next year also sees a presidential election after Yudhoyono’s second and final term ends.
There is no clear front-runner to replace him and none of the known candidates appears to have much chance of winning without forming an alliance with another major political party.



Most of the leading political parties have at least one official, in some cases several, who has been the focus of the corruption agency’s investigations.
Indonesia has long been listed among the world’s most corrupt societies. Increasingly that has included its members of Parliament in a country which has had barely a decade of democracy.


White House Mideast team holds talks with Jordanian king

Updated 24 min 53 sec ago
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White House Mideast team holds talks with Jordanian king

  • Jared Kushner is in the Middle East to help lay the groundwork for an expected Israeli-Palestinian peace plan
  • Kushner’s team also plans stops in Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia

AMMAN: President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is in the Middle East to help lay the groundwork for an expected Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
Kushner, along with White House envoy Jason Greenblatt, arrived in Jordan on Tuesday for talks with King Abdullah II, a key US ally. A White House statement said the talks included discussions on the Gaza humanitarian situation and US efforts to “facilitate peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”
US officials have said their plan is near completion and could be released this summer. But it faces resistance from the Palestinians, who have cut off ties since Trump recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Kushner’s team also plans stops in Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. No talks with the Palestinians are scheduled.