Anas Still Democratic Party Chairman, on Paper at Least

By Carlos Paath & Ezra Sihite on 03:38 pm Mar 08, 2013
Category News, Politics

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Although Anas Urbaningrum announced his resignation as the Democratic Party chairman last month, he is officially still the chairman, according to documents.

The Democratic Party’s former deputy executive director M. Rahmat said Anas’s name was still registered as chairman at the Justice and Human Rights Ministry and the General Elections Commission (KPU), as well as on the party statute.

The party has not yet held an extraordinary congress to pick a successor.

Rahmat said appointing an acting chairman would create problems as there was no provision for an acting chairman in the party’s statute.

“If an acting chairman were appointed and the KPU accepted it, it would draw many protests, especially from other political parties,” he said.

The Democratic Party is currently under scrutiny over its plan to appoint an acting chairman to replace Anas, who announced his resignation in February.

The move came after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named him a suspect last month in the Hambalang sports center graft case.

Several Democrats questioned the process, or lack thereof, to appoint an acting chairman as it wasn’t stipulated in the party’s statute.

When the Jakarta Globe checked the party’s official website at www.demokrat.or.id on Thursday, the statute had been removed.

A posting on the party’s organizational structure and Anas’s photo had also disappeared.

Previously, his photo had been placed next to the party’s secretary general, Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono. Both pictures were taken down as of Thursday night, and only a picture of the party’s chief adviser, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, remained.

It was not clear when the party pulled the statute or the photographs from the website.

However, the statute can still be accessed from the official webpage of the party’s secretary general.

The Democrats were planning to appoint Anas’s successor next week, but they have not announced whether they will appoint an acting chairman or hold an extraordinary congress to appoint a new one.

“Not yet, it will be decided next week,” Democrat Syarief Hasan, a member of the party’s board of advisers who also serves as minister of cooperatives and small and medium enterprises, said on Thursday.

Syarief said the party had many potential candidates.

“[It will likely be] an insider and I think it will be better that he or she does not hold two positions at once,” Syarief said.

Anas, a once-staunch defender of the party in relation to the Bank Century bailout case, has now turned against his former allies, implicating new party members.

Earlier this week Anas told the House of Representatives committee investigating the Century case that an active government official was involved