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Former Indonesian president Wahid dies at 69

Former Indonesian president Wahid dies at 69

Former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, who briefly ruled during the nation's first tumultuous years of democracy and sought peace in far-flung secessionist provinces, died Wednesday. He was 69.
Wahid, known fondly by his nickname Gus Dur, was a proponent of moderate Islam and democratic reformer who ultimately was unable to implement his ambitious ideas in the vast island state of 235 million people.
During nearly two years in power, from October 1999 to July 2001, Wahid created a broad coalition of unity amid political and financial chaos in the wake of the downfall of late dictator Suharto in 1998 after 32 years.
Wahid had been receiving treatment in the intensive care unit when he was declared dead Wednesday evening, said chief nurse Buwahyuat at the Ciptomangunkusumo Hospital in downtown Jakarta. Like many Indonesians, Buwahyuat uses one name.
No official cause of death was immediately provided by the hospital, but Wahid had struggled with illness for years. He was confined to a wheelchair, lost most of his sight, and suffered serious kidney problems.
Wahid had spent several days in the hospital. His younger brother, Solahuddin Wahid, said he died of a clogged artery.
"We lost a great statesman who had dedicated all of his life to the nation, struggling for the sake of those suffering from injustice," the brother told The Associated Press.
Presidential spokesman Julian Pasha noted Wahid was well regarded among Indonesians.
"We lost one of our greatest figures, who was very much loved by people from all walks of life," said Pasha.
Arrangements were being made for a funeral on Thursday to be led by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Pasha said.
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Associated Press writer Ali Kotarumalos contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-05-06 05:27 GMT+08:00