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    Apr 14, 2014

    No truth to reports of party rift, says Jokowi


    POPULAR presidential candidate Joko Widodo is attempting to bounce back from a lacklustre performance at the parliamentary polls on Wednesday, but controversy continues to dog the man dubbed as Indonesia's next president.

    The Indonesian Democratic Party - Struggle (PDI-P) secured only around 19 per cent of the vote, according to the quick counts, far lower than the 27 per cent it had hoped to get, riding on the popularity of Jakarta Governor Joko.

    Immediately after, news of friction between Mr Joko and PDI-P leader Megawati Sukarnoputri's daughter, Puan Maharani, emerged.

    On Saturday, Mr Joko, better known here as "Jokowi", said that reports of a rift within the party were untrue.

    A story in The Jakarta Post said Mr Joko visited Ms Megawati's home immediately after the polls to take part in an internal review of the party's disappointing performance.

    A source within the PDI-P, who wished to remain anonymous, said a heated debate had started between supporters of Mr Joko and Ms Puan, who runs the party's general election division.

    Both camps, according to the source, started pointing fingers. Ms Puan then told Mr Joko to leave, according to the source who added that the former had hoped to be the vice-presidential candidate.

    But Mr Joko denied that this happened.

    "I have not met Ms Puan since the election," he was quoted as saying.

    Meanwhile, as Indonesia's political parties continue to hold talks to build alliances, a small Indonesian political party has struck a deal with the PDI-P.

    Yesterday, the National Democrat party, led by media tycoon Surya Paloh, said it struck a deal with Mr Joko's party, clearing the way for the governor to run in July's presidential election.