Author Topic: Palace Adamant That WikiLeaks-Based Report on First Lady Doesn’t Fly  (Read 1166 times)

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Offline mayya

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Palace Adamant That WikiLeaks-Based Report on First Lady Doesn’t Fly
By Ezra Sihite& Markus Junianto Sihaloho on 8:54 am December 17, 2013.
Category News, Politics

Tags: Ani Yudhoyono, Australia, Wikileaks

The State Palace has continued to rubbish an Australian media report painting Indonesia’s first lady, Ani Yudhoyono, as her husband’s most important political adviser and as harboring presidential ambitions for their eldest son, Agus Harimurti.

Julian Aldrin Pasha, a spokesman for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, said in Jakarta on Monday that the report published on Saturday in The Australian newspaper was completely unsubstantiated because it was based on information from WikiLeaks.
“Why should we comment on a case like this, when the source isn’t even clear? Why would we trust WikiLeaks?” he said.

He added there was no reason to trust information “born of an organization whose credibility we continue to question.”

The Australian reported that Ani’s phone was tapped by Australia because of her considerable influence regarding her husband’s official decisions.
It cited information from a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks titled “A Cabinet of One — Indonesia’s First Lady Expands Her Influence,” which claimed that Australian agencies had found out Ani was initially planning to run in the upcoming presidential election until her son was ready to take over the position.

The paper reported the targeting of Ani’s phone was carried out by the Defense Signals Directorate — now called the Australian Signals Directorate — in 2009. The US National Security Agency is believed to have been aware of the surveillance and supportive of it.

The cable also revealed that Australian intelligence agencies dug up the information on Ani’s political influence from presidential adviser T.B. Silalahi, who has strongly denied the allegation.
Max Sopacua, a deputy secretary general of Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, said on Monday there was nothing wrong with Ani grooming her son for the presidency.

“What parent doesn’t want their child to be a leader? And why should we doubt Agus’s capabilities as a leader?” he said.

“He could be any kind of leader… He has the capacity.”

While the media report has turned the focus on Ani and Agus, political observers in Jakarta have long pointed to another member of the family seemingly being groomed for the presidency.
Pramono Edhie Wibowo, Ani’s brother, has in the space of a few short months this year gone from being the Army chief of staff, to a card-carrying Democrat, to one of the 11 people vying for the party’s presidential ticket.