Jakarta. Democratic Party Chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono alleged on Monday that there have been attempts by officials in the inner circle of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to coerce leadership succession in the former ruling party.
Agus said he had sent an official letter to the president seeking clarification.
“There is a political movement directed to takeover leadership at the Democratic Party that in fact is threatening the party’s sovereignty and existence,” Agus said at the party’s headquarters in Jakarta.
The eldest son of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono added he received information from senior party members that a number of high-ranking officials in the president’s “inner circle” were involved in the movement.
“I have sent an official letter to President Joko Widodo to get confirmation and clarification from him concerning this information,” he said.
Agus inherited the party’s chairmanship from his father in March last year.
The Democratic Party was the ruling party during Susilo’s presidency in 2004-2014 but has lost a commanding role in the House of Representatives since he retired.
The party currently has 7.8 percent of the House’s 575 seats.
There is currently no major feud between the Democratic Party and the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) although they took a different stance on several issues like Covid-19 response and the police handling of hardline group Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).
The Democratic Party backed Prabowo Subianto in the 2019 presidential election despite his last minute decision to ditch Agus in favor of businessman and Jakarta deputy governor Sandiaga Uno as a running mate.
Agus, 42, took early retirement from the Indonesian Military in 2016 for a new career as politician and ran for gubernatorial election in Jakarta, but he failed to win.
Susilo was angered by Prabowo’s decision but the party had no choice after earlier failing to form a coalition with the Jokowi camp.
The country’s election law obliges any major political party to have a candidate in the presidential election or risking a ban on the upcoming poll.