August 2, 2021
General News

Rachmawati Sukarnoputri, 70, Sibling Rival in Indonesia Politics, Dies

Mrs. Rachmawati entered politics after the fall of Suharto, helping to found the Pioneers’ Party in 2002. But it won only a tiny number of seats in Parliament. She joined the Nasdem Party in 2012 but quickly left it to join the Great Indonesia Movement Party, or Gerindra, the party of Suharto’s son-in-law Prabowo Subianto. At her death she was on its board of trustees.

“Rachmawati always sided with anyone who opposed her eldest sister, including Prabowo,” said Andreas Harsono, a Human Rights Watch researcher who wrote a book about the early days of Indonesia, “Race, Islam and Power” (2019), and who knows the Sukarno siblings.

“It is a dysfunctional family,” he said.

Mrs. Rachmawati was accused of being involved in a plot in 2016 to rally hard-line Islamists to kidnap the Christian governor of Jakarta. She was one of 11 people arrested…

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