JAKARTA: It was “inappropriate” for opposition candidate Prabowo Subianto to reveal the former first lady's political preference while her family is still in mourning, said former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday (Jun 3).
This came after Mr Subianto visited the Yudhoyono residence in West Java to express his condolences over the passing of Ani Yudhoyono, who died on Saturday.
“(The former first lady) was a very supportive wife to her husband, a smart and loyal (woman),” Mr Subianto said during a live news conference.
"I was told Ibu Ani was a supporter of mine. She voted for me in (the) 2014 and 2019 (presidential elections). So, I can feel what Pak SBY (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) is feeling today".
The former first lady is a patron of the Democratic Party, which endorsed Mr Subianto’s presidential campaign.
Dr Yudhoyono did not comment during the live conference.
However, he was later quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post: “Please understand our feelings as we are still mourning. I think it’s inappropriate (to reveal whom she had voted for previously)”.
“Ibu Ani has just passed away and she didn’t want to be mentioned in relation to any kind of politics,” he added.
Kristiani Herrawati, 66, better known as Ani Yudhoyono, had been battling blood cancer.
She passed away on Saturday morning at the National University Hospital in Singapore. The former first lady was buried at the Kalibata National Heroes Cemetery in South Jakarta on Sunday.
READ: Singapore leaders offer condolences to former Indonesian president Yudhoyono over wife's death
On May 24, Mr Subianto lodged an appeal over claims that he lost the presidential election due to widespread cheating, allegations that spawned deadly rioting in the capital Jakarta.
At least eight people were killed and hundreds were injured in two nights of street battles between police and protesters opposed to Joko Widodo being re-elected leader of the world's largest Muslim-majority country.