Habibie, president of Indonesia in shift to democracy, dies:The Asahi Shimbun

Habibie, president of Indonesia in shift to democracy, dies:The Asahi Shimbun

Habibie, president of Indonesia in shift to democracy, dies:The Asahi Shimbun

But there are a couple of things that make Habibie an "unusual" president in the political history of Indonesia.

The 83-year-old Habibie had been suffering heart failure, his son Tariq Kemal Habibie told Metro TV late on Wednesday.

The government has declared three days of national mourning.

Taking over from Suharto, who had ruled the world's most populous Muslim majority country with an iron fist for 32 years, Habibie held power for just 17 months.

An engineer educated in Indonesia, the Netherlands and Germany, Habibie spent almost two decades working for German aircraft maker Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm, before returning to Indonesia in 1974 to help lead Suharto's campaign to industrialize the economy. On Oct. 20, 1999, Habibie withdrew from upcoming presidential elections.

As president, Habibie apologized for past human legal rights abuses and purchased the release of political prisoners, dismantled constraints on the push and reformed politics to enable for no cost elections.

His time in power was marked by his decision to allow a referendum on independence for the people of the former Portuguese colony of East Timor, which had been annexed by Indonesia in the 1970s. The East Timorese voted overwhelmingly for independence, which sparked a wave of deadly violence carried out by pro-Indonesian militias.

In 2017, the young democracy held presidential and parliamentary elections that were the first without United Nations supervision since peacekeepers left in 2012.

According to a statement of Habibie's personal secretary Rubijanto, attendees at the funeral will comprise Vice President Jusuf Kalla and his wife, Military Commander Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, and Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian.

He described the bloody riots that ended Suharto's dictatorship as "barbaric", further alienating students who feared he was betraying their democratic revolution and staged violent protests against his presidency.

Bacharuddin Jusuf (BJ) Habibie, also known as Rudy, was born in Pare Pare, South Sulawesi, on June 25, 1936, and led the country from May 1998 to October 1999. His father was of native Sulawesi descent and his mother a Javanese noblewoman from the historic sultanate of Yogyakarta. Habibie is survived by two sons.

Islamic prayers have been explained, and as his physique was reduced, mourners tossed flower petals into his grave, along with that of his spouse of 48 decades, Hasri Ainun Habibie, a healthcare health practitioner who died in 2010.

Jokowi is scheduled to lead the funeral ceremony of BJ Habibie at the Kalibata Heroes' Cemetery, Jakarta, on Thursday, at 1:30 p.m. local time.

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