Outgoing Jakarta Governor Seeks Presidency

JAKARTA ~ The outgoing governor of Jakarta wants to run for president and has invited parties to nominate him for the 2009 vote.

Sutiyoso, a retired general, is to step down as governor of Jakarta next week after 10 years in the position.

“Please look at me and assess my performance so far – what I have done and what my capabilities are,” Sutiyoso said in a meeting announcing his decision.

“If you deem me worthy, then political parties should feel free to approach me and nominate me as their candidate.”

Under Indonesian law, presidential candidates can only be nominated by a party that is represented in parliament, although moves are under way to allow independent candidates to take part in the five-yearly polls.

Sutiyoso, who claims to have the backing of the country’s retired military bosses, has a reputation as a shrewd political player but has faced criticism for failing to address many problems facing Jakarta, such as stifling pollution, recurring floods and mass traffic.

He is the third person to announce his wish to run for president. Former presidents Megawati Sukarnoputri and Abdurrahman Wahid have also said they would accept nominations from their parties.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who has led Indonesia since 2004, has not indicated if he would like to seek reelection.

Filed under: The Nation

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