Ruling party extraordinary congress to be closed this evening

Sanur, Bali (ANTARA News) - The extraordinary congress of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) held here will be closed on Saturday evening after it names Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as the party`s new general chairman, a congress leader said.

EE Mangindaan, one of the seven co-chairmen of the congress said that the congress was shortened from the previous Saturday-Sunday (March 30-31, 2013), schedule, after it elected Yudhoyono.

The congress`s seven co-chairmen were Max Sopacua, EE Mangindaan, Toto Riyanto, Syarif Hasan, Edhie Baskoro, Amir Syamsuddin and Jhony Allen.

The meeting has decided that the congress will be closed at 7.30 pm local time. Yudhoyono will deliver his address as the new party chairman at 8 pm Central Indonesia Standard Time (Wita).

Earlier, the seven co-chairmen had visited Yudhoyono to ask for his readiness to be named the party`s general chairman. When he received the seven cadres, Yudhoyono said he was ready to be appointed as the DP chair.

According to Mangindaan, Yudhoyono is prepared to become the general chairman of the party only temporarily.

"The chairmanship position which I will hold will be a temporary position only," Yudhoyono was quoted by Mangindaan as saying.

According to Mangindaan, Yudhoyono said it was a temporary position because he would assume the chairmanship position during a salvaging process and party consolidation.

"(Yudhoyono is to chair it) on conditions that it would last only two years at the longest. If possible, the sooner the better, namely as soon as the legislative and the presidential elections are over," he said.

Besides that, according to Mangindaan, the tasks of the general chairman will be carried out by an executive chairman so that Yudhoyono as the president of the Republic of Indonesia could concentrate on his state duties.

The extraordinary congress is held to elect the party`s new chief after former chief Anas Urbaningrum resigned following his naming as a suspect in a corruption case by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

The election is important because by law only party`s chief is allowed to sign the list of legislative candidates that should be submitted to the General Elections Commission (KPU) soon before the legislative elections in 2014.

It was earlier scheduled that the congress would take place for two days on March 30-31, 2013.

But because most of the provincial and district boards have expressed aspirations to name Yudhoyono, the party`s new general chairman could soon be elected and the congress could be shortened with consensus.