Indonesian tycoon says he has no plans to run for president

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 28, 2017 2:33 AM

By John Geddie and Fathin Ungku

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Indonesian business tycoon Hary Tanoesoedibjo said on Tuesday he was not planning to stand in the country's 2019 presidential election, and that he would support current President Joko Widodo if he chose to run again.

Tanoesoedibjo, who stood as a candidate for vice president in the 2014 election and founded his own political party in 2015, said in January he would decide before the end of next year whether to run in the 2019 ballot.

"Looking at the constellation today, I think President Jokowi will run again and I am in the position to support him," he told Reuters at the Asia TV Forum and Market in Singapore.

Asked if he would stand, he replied: "No, I don't think so."

Religious and political tension in Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population, escalated to its highest level during a divisive election for Jakarta governor earlier this year.

Tanoesoedibjo said the political climate in Indonesia remained stable but that the country needed a president that "stands in the middle of everyone".

"He (Widodo) is the strongest candidate. He is very moderate and he is very nationalist," added Tan.

Turning to his business interests, Tanoesoedibjo, whose MNC Group controls businesses ranging from media to property, said he had plans to list a division of his company - MNC Studios International - on the Jakarta stock exchange next year.

"We have seen many interests (by investors) because it's the largest production company in the country," he said.

(Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Nick Macfie)