2nd President of Indonesia, army general (1921-2008)
(Redirected from Soeharto)

Suharto (February 20, 1921 – January 27, 2008[1]) was an Indonesian military and political leader. He was a military officer in the Indonesian Army. He is better known as the second President of Indonesia. He held the office for a long time, from 1967 to 1998.

General of the Army Muhammad Suharto
2nd President of Indonesia
In office
March 12, 1967 – May 21, 1998
Vice PresidentSri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX (1973)
Adam Malik (1978)
Umar Wirahadikusumah (1983)
Sudharmono (1988)
Try Sutrisno (1993)
Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie (1998)
Preceded bySukarno
Succeeded byBacharuddin Jusuf Habibie
Personal details
Born(1921-02-20)February 20, 1921
Dutch East Indies Kemusuk, Yogyakarta, Dutch East Indies
DiedJanuary 27, 2008(2008-01-27) (aged 86)
Indonesia Jakarta, Indonesia
Cause of deathCongestive heart failure caused by sepsis
NationalityIndonesia Indonesian
Political partyGolongan Karya
Spouse(s)Siti Hartinah
ChildrenSiti Hardiyanti Rukmana
Hutomo Mandala Putra

Political powerEdit

In the early morning of October 1, 1965, a group of soldiers claiming to be supported by the Indonesian Communist Party killed six generals in the army and one assistant because they thought he was a seventh. Many friends and supporters of Suharto claimed they were members of the communist party itself. The people of Indonesia then started killing anybody they thought was communist with Suharto's tacit approvement. Estimates range around half a million. Suharto then seized power from his predecessor, the first president of Indonesia Sukarno. For this, he used some force, but also took some political maneuvers. At the time, there was instability and unrest inside and outside of Indonesia. This helped him come to power. He took three decades to change the regime to work along militarist lines, with a strong central government. His movement was known as "Orde Baru". As he took an anti-communist position which he could defend, several Western governments supported him both in economic and political matters. This was during an era that is known as Cold War. For most of his three-decade rule, Indonesia experienced significant economic growth and industrialization.[2] His rule, however, led to political purges and the deaths of about half a million of suspected Indonesian communists; many of them Chinese-Indonesians.[3] He also made some laws against communist parties and ethnic Chinese.[4]

His New Order administration's authoritarian and increasingly corrupt practices led to much discontent in the 1990s. Suharto's almost unquestioned authority over Indonesian affairs slipped dramatically when the Asian financial crisis lowered Indonesians' standard of living. People inside the military and other institutions no longer supported him. There were some problems inside the country during the early 1990s. Suharto became more and more isolated, in a political way. After mass demonstrations in 1998, Suharto was forced to resign. Suharto had been the face of Indonesia for over 30 years. After retiring, he lived in seclusion. There were people who wanted to try him for genocide. This failed however, because he had a very bad health. His legacy remains hotly debated and contested both in Indonesia and abroad.

Like many Javanese, Suharto has only one name. In contexts where his religion is being discussed he is sometimes called Haji or el-Haj Mohammed Suharto, but this Islamic title is not part of his formal name or generally used. The spelling "Suharto" has been official in Indonesia since 1947 but the older spelling Soeharto is still frequently used.


Suharto was admitted to hospital on January 4; on 23 January, Suharto's health worsened further, as a sepsis infection spread through his body. His family consented to the removal of life support machines if his condition did not improve and he died on 27 January at 1:09 pm. He died at Pertamina Hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia of congestive heart failure.[5] He was taken off life support.[6] He was buried at a family mausoleum near Solo town.


  1. "Indonesia ex-leader Suharto dies".
  2. Miguel, Edward; Paul Gertler, David I. Levine (January 2005). "Does Social Capital Promote Industrialization? Evidence from a Rapid Industrializer". Econometrics Softare Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley . 
  3. Robert Cribb (2002). "Unresolved Problems in the Indonesian Killings of 1965–1966". Asian Survey. 42 (4): 550–563.
  4. Leo Suryadinata (1976). "Indonesian Policies toward the Chinese Minority under the New Order". Asian Survey. 16 (8): 770–787.
  5. Jakarta, Mark Forbes Herald Correspondent in (28 January 2008). "Strongman Soeharto dies without ever facing justice". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  6. Watson, Richard C. Paddock and Paul. "Indonesian ex-president Suharto dies". Archived from the original on 2019-05-11. Retrieved 2019-02-11.

Other websitesEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Pranoto Reksosamudro
Indonesian Army Chief of Staff
Succeeded by
Maraden Panggabean
Position abolished by Sukarno after 17 October 1952 incident
Title last held by
T.B. Simatupang
As Chief of Staff of the Battle Forces
Commander-in-Chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces
Political offices
Preceded by
President of Indonesia
12 March 1967 – 21 May 1998
Succeeded by
B. J. Habibie
Party political offices
New office Chairman of Central Committee of Golkar
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Dobrica Ćosić
Secretary General of Non-Aligned Movement
Succeeded by
Ernesto Samper Pizano
New office Chairperson of ASEAN
Succeeded by
Hussein Onn
Preceded by
Bill Clinton
Chairperson of APEC
Succeeded by
Tomiichi Murayama