Sat, 21 Feb 2004

Surya Paloh meets Yogyakarta sultan

OGYAKARTA: One of Golkar's presidential candidates Surya Paloh met with Yogyakarta Governor Sultan Hamengkubuwono X on Friday, more than one week after the latter withdrew from the party's convention.

Surya Paloh, general manager of the Media Indonesia group, said he intended to get first-hand information about the withdrawal of the sultan from the convention.

Sultan Hamengkubuwono, who finished seventh in the first round of Golkar's convention, withdrew shortly after the Supreme Court acquitted Golkar chairman Akbar Tandjung from corruption charges.

Many said that the acquittal would help Akbar to win Golkar's ticket to run for president.

Surya Palloh disclosed on Friday that during the meeting the sultan pledged to stay with Golkar and develop the party as long as the party supports the reform agenda.

Separately in Jakarta, Akbar refuted the view that his acquittal had paved the way for him to grab the ticket for the presidency, saying that all six candidates have an equal chance. -- JP