SBY Appoints Syarief Hasan as Acting Democratic Party Chairman

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono delivers a speech after being named chairman of the graft-tainted Democratic Party at the party\'s Extraordinary Congress in Sanur, Bali, on Saturday, March 30, 2012. (Photo Courtesy of http://www.demokrat.or.id)

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono delivers a speech after being named chairman of the graft-tainted Democratic Party at the party’s Extraordinary Congress in Sanur, Bali, on Saturday, March 30, 2012. (Photo Courtesy of http://www.demokrat.or.id)

Nusa Dua, Bali. Newly appointed Democratic Party chair President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appointed Cooperative and Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Syarifuddin Hasan as the party’s acting chairman on Sunday.

Yudhoyono was named as the party’s chairman on Saturday. Former Democratic Party chief Anas Urbaningrum resigned from his post after being charged in connection with the Hambalang corruption case.

The president accepted the nomination, but appointed Syarifuddin as acting chairman on Sunday. The minister will be tasked with handling the day-to-day operations of running the party and “implementing policies lined by the chairman,” Syarifuddin said.

“This acting chairman of the Democratic Party’s central executive board is a new position, an outcome of the extraordinary congress, which will be held by Syarief Hasan,” Yudhoyono said on Sunday.

Syarifuddin said he plans to divide his time between his ministerial duties and the party.

Yudhoyono, who founded the Democratic Party in 2001, said he would step down as chairman after the 2014 presidential election.

The once-popular Democratic Party has suffered in recent years under the strain of a series of high-profile corruption cases and accusations of weakness levied at the president. Recent polls have predicted the Democratic Party’s popularity at eight percent in the coming election.