Guruh Soekarnoputra Ready to Lead PDIP

Guruh Soekarnoputra, the brother of former president Megawati Soekarnoputri, here on Saturday declared his readiness to lead the Indonesia Democratic Party Struggle for 2010-2015.

"I am ready and willing to become PDIP’s general chairman. To me leading PDIP for the next five years is a call and a noble task to realize the ideals of the country’s proclamation of independence, declared by first president Soekarno (his father)," he said at a gathering in his residence on Jalan Sriwijaya, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, attended by hundreds of sympathisers ans supporters.

Guruh said he had recieved wide support from PDIP sympathisers and cadres from various regions to participate in the election of the party’s general chairman next April.

"I said I am ready and willing (to do it) if it is really your aspirations. I consider it as a call and my task," he said drawing an applause from the attendees.

He said his willingness to run for the party’s leadership was based upon his concern over the party’s poor performance in the general elections so far.

In 1999 PDIP could garner around 40 percent of votes but in 2004 the collection dropped to only around 20 percent and in 2009 to around 14 percent. In view of that he said changes must be made in the party’s future leadership, to regain its past glory so that the party would be able to realize the proclamation’s goals namely to deliver just and prosperity.

Guruh said he had already received a permit from his family namely from Guntur Soekarnoputra, Megawati Soekarnoputri, Rachmawati Soekarnoputri and Sukmawati Soekarnoputri. "We have asked for a permission from our brother and sisters in line with the Indonesian tradition and ethical culture. Sister Megawati Soekarnoputri has approved his wish and advised him to meet the people to convey directly his intention," he said.

Guruh said another reason why he would run for the position was that he had so far been active as party board member and legislator since 1999. He also said that the present general chairperson, Megawati Soekarnoputri, had also been old, now 63, and therefore it was appropriate for a regeneration to be done in the party leadership in order to make the party become powerful and respected by the people again.

When asked what he would do if Megawati Soekarnoputri would still seek reelection with a majority support, Guruh said he would let her go ahead. "I would keep running even if I were supported by one regional board," he said.