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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 December, 2003, 16:38 GMT
Suharto daughter eyes presidency
Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana -
Tutut briefly served in her father's government
The daughter of Indonesia's former president Suharto is planning to stand as a candidate in next year's presidential elections.

Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana, popularly known as "Tutut", has been put forward as the candidate of the small Duty and Concern for the Nation Party, which was set up by her father after he was forced from office.

A corruption investigation against Tutut was dropped earlier this year.

It was launched because one of her companies made hundreds of millions of dollars winning government contracts during her father's presidency.

"Am I capable? I have not been tested," she told a rally of her supporters.

"Working as a president is not an easy job... it is a very difficult job. The main task is to bring wealth to the nation," she said.

Ratih Harjono, a close aide to former President Wahid, said Tutut was being supported by the Indonesian elite, who have lost their economic privileges.

"The thing about her and her family is they are very conscious of how much the majority of Indonesian middle class and poor people hate them," she told the BBC's East Asia Today programme.

Tainted family

Tutut's father, President Suharto, left office in 1998 after popular demonstrations which were fuelled in part by anger over the alleged corruption of his children.

Tutut was seen as the most politically able of Suharto's six children, and she briefly served as social affairs minister towards the end of his rule.

Since his fall, the only member of the family to be convicted on corruption charges is Tutut's younger brother, Hutomo Mandala Putra, known as "Tommy Suharto".

He is serving a 15-year prison sentence after ordering the murder of the judge who found him guilty.

Indonesia's current president, Megawati Sukarnoputri, is herself the daughter of a former leader - the founding Indonesian president, Sukarno.

She is generally viewed as the frontrunner in next year's race.


SEE ALSO:
Indonesia seeks to face dark past
30 Sep 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Tommy Suharto moved to prison isle
15 Aug 02  |  Asia-Pacific
Rise and fall of strongman Suharto
28 Sep 00  |  Asia-Pacific


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