Harmoko not surprised as replacement ‘not sudden’

Outgoing Information Minister, Mr Harmoko, has said that he was not surprised by his sudden replacement and was prepared for his new appointment as State Minister of Special Affairs.

“I am not surprised. The change was not sudden because I had already been informed about my replacement,” the Antara news agency quoted him as saying on Friday.

Mr Harmoko, who is chairman of the ruling Golkar party, defended the reshuffle as normal and said that he would be ready to carry out the duties assigned by President Suharto.

He dismissed speculation that his new appointment was related to Golkar’s overwhelming victory in last month’s general election.

“I don’t think the President gave the new assignment in exchange for Golkar’s victory,” he said.

Speculation is rife that Mr Harmoko had already been slated to leave the Cabinet in October to become Speaker of Parliament.

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