IDNAround – The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has officially ousted prominent member Budiman Sudjatmiko, who openly declared his support for Prabowo Subianto in the upcoming presidential election.
The official letter confirming Budiman’s dismissal was signed by PDI-P Chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri and Secretary-General Hasto Kristiyanto on Thursday.
The ruling party is nominating Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo for the presidency to succeed fellow PDI-P member Joko Widodo.
Budiman, 53, had previously indicated that he would not alter his stance in favor of Prabowo and had anticipated his dismissal from PDI-P.
“The dismissal will alter my administrative standing as a PDI-P member, but my alignment with the party’s ideology remains unchanged,” he said.
Budiman declined to resign voluntarily, asserting that his support for Prabowo does not breach the party’s principles.
“I don’t believe that my support for Prabowo constitutes an ideological or strategic deviation from the party’s line,” he said.
Since his student years in the 1990s at Gadjah Mada University, Budiman has emerged as a prominent political and democracy advocate. He was also known as a staunch critic of long-time ruler Soeharto.
In 1996, he gained recognition for founding the Democratic People Party (PRD), a significant step given that the country only acknowledged three incumbent parties at that juncture.
Following his initiation of the PRD, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison later that year for “inciting chaos.” However, in 1999, President Abdurrahman Wahid granted him a pardon.
Budiman joined the PDI-P in 2004 and, five years later, was elected as a House of Representatives member representing Central Java.
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