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Worried Indonesian president steps in to lead unpopular ruling party

Published on Feb 9, 2013 3:47 PM
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Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (right), the head of the Democrat Party, seen with his party chairman Anas Urbaningrum (in spectacles), in a file picture of July 23, 2011. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's president has stepped in to take over his ruling party, so damaged by a series of corruption scandals that even its senior members concede it faces a rout in elections next year.

One of his ministers was felled in December after being named as a suspect in a bribery investigation by a powerful anti-corruption agency which has in recent months sunk its teeth into several politicians, including top members of the country's most successful Muslim-based party.

The latest issue surrounds the chairman of the ruling Democrat Party, Anas Urbaningrum, who has been linked to a graft case surrounding the construction of a sports stadium, and whom President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono effectively pushed from his post on Friday night following his return from an overseas trip.

"While I am sorting things out ... I am giving (Anas) time to focus on his KPK (Corruption Eradication Agency) legal case," Mr Yudhoyono told reporters at his home on Friday night.

 
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