Former Indonesian President Gus Dur Dies

Former Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid, 69, more popularly known as Gus Dur, died at Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM) in Jakarta at about 6.45pm local time Wednesday.

Till now there has been no statement about the cause of his death but lately he had been treated in hospital several times due to health problems.

Gus Dur's private secretary, Sulaeman, was quoted by news agency Antara as saying his health deteriorated today and he was visited by all his close family members and leaders of the Nahdatul Ulama organisation at the hospital.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had also visited Gus Dur at about 6.30pm and was there for half-an-hour. Indonesian cabinet ministers also visited him.

Susilo will issue at statement about Gus Dur's death, who was termed "Bapa Bangsa" Indonesia, said Antara.

At about 10pm, Gus Dur's body was taken from hospital to his residence in Ciganjur, South Jakarta.

Gus Dur, who was Indonesia's fourth president from 1991 to 2001, was the founder of the 'Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB)', an Islamic party.

He replaced Presiden B.J. Habibie after being picked by the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) after the 1999 general election.

Born on Aug 4, 1940, in Jombang, Eact Java, Gus Dur among others got his education at the University of Baghdad, Iraq, from 1966 till 1970, and the Al-Azhar Univerity, Cairo, Egypt, at the Syariah Faculty from 1964 till 1966.

He leaves his widow, Sinta Nuriyah, and four daughters.


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