Jakarta. A close aide of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo delivered a strong rebuke to Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono on Monday after the latter claimed that government officials had meddled in his party’s internal affairs aiming to topple him from chairmanship.
Agus, the eldest son of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono -- better known as SBY, is currently the chairman of the Democratic Party.
Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko said he didn’t understand why Agus made the allegation against the government out of nowhere, but he offered an advice.
“My advice is: be a tough leader. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you,” Moeldoko said in a video conference in Jakarta.
His remarks came only hours after Agus told reporters there was a “coup attempt” initiated by government officials in Jokowi’s inner circle.
“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.
“I have sent an official letter to President Joko Widodo to get confirmation and clarification from him concerning this information,” he said.
He didn’t cite a name, but a senior party member has singled out Moeldoko.
Herzaky Mahendra Putra, the party’s head of public communication division, said several regional chapter leaders had admitted that they were brought to a meeting with Moeldoko “who wants to takeover leadership at the Democratic Party in unconstitutional manners for his ambition in the 2024 presidential election”.
He also said several cabinet members took part in the attempt to shakeup Democratic Party’s leadership.
In response, Moeldoko said he was confused with the term “coup attempt” as it should refer to internal resistance, not by an outsider like him.
However, the former military commander didn’t firmly deny the allegation and said the president was totally out of this issue.
“Don’t disrupt Mr. Jokowi because he doesn’t know anything about this. I’m dealing with this in my individual capacity, not on behalf of the presidential staff office,” Moeldoko said.
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.
Agus, 42, inherited the party’s chairmanship from his father in March last year.