FILE PHOTO – Former Indonesian President B.J. Habibie speaks with the media following his assembly with Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim at Habibie’s dwelling in Jakarta, Indonesia Could 20, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
JAKARTA (Reuters) – Former Indonesian president B.J. Habibie, who got here to energy through the nation’s turbulent transition to democracy after former strongman chief Suharto stepped down in 1998, has died, his son mentioned on Wednesday.
Habibie, 83, had been struggling coronary heart failure, Tariq Kemal Habibie instructed Metro TV.
An engineer by coaching, Habibie succeeded Suharto as Indonesia’s third president solely months after turning into his deputy, simply because the nation sank right into a spasms of rioting and financial upheaval.
He held energy for 17 months till the late Abdurrahman Wahid grew to become president and his tenure was marked by his agreeing to a referendum for the folks of former Portuguese colony East Timor.
Indonesian troops invaded in December 1975 and the next yr annexed East Timor as its 27th province.
However Habibie abruptly modified longheld coverage in January 1999 and mentioned East Timor might have independence if it rejected autonomy inside Indonesia. The East Timorese later voted for independence, unleashing a wave of violence.
Habibie was additionally identified for his quest to show Indonesia right into a technological powerhouse, together with attempting to develop a nationwide plane trade.
President Joko Widodo, talking on the hospital the place Habibie was being handled, described Habibie as a “world class scientist and the daddy of know-how in Indonesia”.
Reporting by Tabita Diela; Modifying by Ed Davies and Frances Kerry