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Indonesia president loses popularity after graft cases

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 29 Jun 2011 11:13 GMT
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BANGKOK (TrustLaw) – The popularity ratings of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono have taken another knock following corruption cases under his administration, some allegedly involving his ruling Democrat Party, the Jakarta Globe reported.

A recent public opinion poll from the Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI) showed the president’s rating at 47 percent, down from 57 percent in January this year, according to the Globe. In January 2010, the figure was 61 percent.

The paper quoted a senior LSI researcher Sunarto Ciptoharjono as saying the decline was mainly due to graft cases.

“There are many unresolved cases such as the Bank Century bailout, the murder of rights activist Munir Said Thalib and the corruption cases involving Nazaruddin — a member of Yudhoyono’s party,” Ciptoharjono said. 

Yudhoyono has been criticised for his slow response to resolve these cases and such perception had hurt his credibility, Ciptoharjono added.

“This is a critical point for the president,” he said. “He should make a move [to boost his popularity] before 2014, or it will affect the Democrats’ chances in the elections.” 

Nazaruddin, former Democrat Party treasurer, is accused of being involved in a graft-tainted construction deal for the Southeast Asian Games which Indonesia is hosting in November this year.

He fled to Singapore before he was issued a travel ban and has since accused other members of Democrat Party of corruption.

(Editing by Rebekah Curtis)

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