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National Republic Party 'selling' Tommy because the people miss Suharto

Detik.com - April 28, 2011

Indra Subagja, Jakarta Ė The National Republic Party (Partai Nasrep) has registered itself with the Department of Justice and Human Rights (Kemenkum HAM).

The party, which will be selling Hutomo "Tommy" Mandala Putra, the son of former President Suharto, as an icon, is positive that it will be able to contest the 2014 general elections. This is because there are still many little people in the regions that miss the prosperity of the New Order era.

"Nasrep will carry out an acceleration that is pro-people for the people's welfare with Mas [Brother] Tommy as an icon. The ordinary people, such as farmers and fisherpeople miss the era of Pak Harto [Suharto]", said Nasrep initiator Yus Usman Sumanegara when sought for confirmation on Thursday April 28.

Nasrep is a merger of several small parties, including among others the Labour Party and the Indonesian People's Sovereignty Party. These parties are positive that by backing Tommy Soeharto they will easily garner 10 percent of the vote in the coming elections.

"What is clear at the moment is that many people are still finding things difficult, the House of Representatives (DPR) meanwhile is showing that it [prioritises] its personal and group interests over those of the ordinary people", said Sumanegara.

Sumanegara, who was once the secretary general of the People's Conscience Party (Hanura) led by former defense minister and Indonesian military chief General Wiranto, explained that Nasrep already has representatives in all 33 provinces and has enough resources to contest the 2014 elections.

"We are an alternative vehicle to struggle for the interests of the common people", he added. Nasrep was only declared late last week.

Sumanegara is also optimistic about Nasrep backing Tommy. He is not concerned that Nasrep will suffer the same fate as the Concern for the Nation Functional Party (PKPB), which was backed by the Suharto family and his daughter Siti "Tutut" Hardiyanti Rukmana, but suffered a poor result in the last election.

"The momentum is different, so itís a question of momentum. Mas Tommy is not just supported by the Cendana family [Suharto's Central Jakarta neighborhood, the family and relatives of the Suharto clan] but thousands and thousand of ordinary people", he added. (ndr/fay)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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