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Soeharto(both: so͞ohär`tō), 1921–2008, president of Indonesia (1967–98). A veteran of the war for independence (1945–49) against the Dutch, he became army chief of staff in 1965. He opposed the pro-Chinese policies of President SukarnoSukarno
, 1901–70, Indonesian statesman, first president of Indonesia. A leader of the radical nationalist movement founded in 1927, he was jailed and exiled by the Dutch at various times in the 1930s.
..... Click the link for more information. and, while still relatively unknown, crushed a coup in 1965, which was blamed on the Communists, and then moved to replace Sukarno. Suharto assumed key civilian cabinet offices in 1966, became acting president in 1967, and assumed the office of supreme commander of the army and was elected president in 1968. With political parties severely limited, he was reelected every five years from 1973 to 1998. Under Suharto, Western investment was encouraged and Indonesia gradually recovered from the economic morass into which it had fallen, achieving economic growth and political stability. At the same time, however, dissent was suppressed and human rights violated in the name of consensus. Suharto and his family used their power to enrich themselves and their friends, gaining billions of dollars through their control of government enterprises and charities and their acceptance of kickbacks for state contracts. The collapse of Indonesia's economy (1997) along with popular discontent with Suharto's rule provoked widespread rioting and forced his resignation in 1998, and subsequently a government corruption investigation was instituted. Suharto was placed under house arrest in 2000 and was charged with corruption, but the charges were later dismissed for health reasons. In 2015, however, his family was ordered to pay back $324 million in embezzled state funds.
Born June 8, 1921, in Kemusu, near Jogjakarta. Indonesian state figure. General.
Suharto took part in the armed struggle of the Indonesian people against the Dutch colonialists in 1945–49. When the war ended, he held a series of high command and staff posts in the Indonesian Army. Between 1963 and 1965 he was commander of the country’s strategic reserve forces. After the military assumed power in Indonesia in 1965 as a result of the September 30 Movement, Suharto became minister in command of ground forces. In March 1966 he assumed the functions of head of the executive branch. In February 1967 he was appointed acting president, and in March 1968 he became president of Indonesia.