Wed, 03 Sep 2003

Megawati rejects caretaker idea

JAKARTA: The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri brushed aside demands for a caretaker leadership to run the daily operations of the party, saying it would only create a dual leadership.

"There is no such thing as a caretaker leader, according to the party's statutes, so the issue is no longer up for discussion," the party's deputy secretary general Pramono Anung Wibowo said after the weekly meeting led by Megawati.

Megawati, also the President, had been under pressure from many sides to name a caretaker so that she could focus on running the country, rather than splitting her time while running the country's largest party, especially with a major national election campaign coming up.

"We really thought that the suggestion would good for the party's sake, but now it is no longer a subject that can be considered, because everybody needs to be in conformity ahead of the 2004 elections," he remarked.--JP