Minister: ‘SBY Won’t Abandon Sri Mulyani and Boediono’

House of Representatives Speaker Marzuki Alie said over the weekend that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono continued to support Vice President Boediono and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who are under pressure to resign for their roles in the bailout of Bank Century last year. Marzuki, a senior member of Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, said there was no rift within the cabinet, and denounced personal political statements that muddled the ongoing House investigation into the Rp 6.7 trillion ($710 million) bailout. “SBY is a consistent person, he won’t abandon Sri Mulyani and Boediono,” Marzuki told journalists in Bogor on Saturday, referring to Yudhoyono. “There’s no rift in the cabinet. SBY will take responsibility. He is the one who really knows what’s happening in the cabinet,” Marzuki said. Analysts have been predicting the imminent demise of Boediono, who was central bank governor at the time of the Bank Century bailout in November 2008, and Sri Mulyani, who agreed with the decision to save the troubled lender. There has been rampant speculation that figures within the Golkar Party, as well as from other members of Yudhoyono’s coalition government, were plotting to oust the vice president and finance minister in the hope of getting their own officials into the powerful positions. Boediono and Sri Mulyani are respected technocrats, but analysts have said they are vulnerable because they do not have a political base. However, Marzuki’s comments indicate that Yudhoyono, who left for an official visit to Europe on Sunday, still backs the pair. His comments may yet help turn the tide in favor of the vice president and finance minister. Bambang Soesatyo, a Golkar lawmaker who claimed to have incriminating evidence against Sri Mulyani relating to the bailout, was forced to backtrack on Sunday after the finance minister released a videotape that disputed his claims. Bambang lashed out at Mulyani on Friday after she said in a newspaper interview that she doubted Golkar would be fair to her in investigating Bank Century, and also criticized its chairman, Aburizal Bakrie. 

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