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Anas Urbaningrum, the chairman of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party, speaks during a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday. / Tatan Syuflana, AP

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - The head of Indonesia's ruling party resigned Saturday, a day after the country's anti-graft commission named him as a suspect in a corruption case.

Anas Urbaningrum, who was elected in 2010 as general chairman of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party, announced his resignation in a news conference at the party's headquarters.

On Friday, the Corruption Eradication Commission declared Urbaningrum a suspect, accusing him of receiving payments in connection with the construction of a sports complex in West Java province.

The commission did not specify what kind of payments were allegedly received by Urbaningrum, but media reports say a contractor gave him a car worth about $75,000 while he was a lawmaker and head of the party's faction in Parliament before being elected as party chairman.

"I resign as general chairman of the Democratic Party," Urbaningrum said, noting that his decision was based on the party's standard of ethics.

The 43-year-old Urbaningrum, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, could face a minimum sentence of four years in jail if found guilty.

Party members were scheduled to meet Sunday to decide on a new chairman.

The case is the latest blow to the party's reputation and to Yudhoyono, who ran as the "Mr. Clean" of Indonesian politics in his 2009 re-election campaign.

Late last year, another party official, sports minister Andi Mallarangeng, was named a suspect in a corruption case involving the same $122 million sports complex in Hambalang village.

A former beauty queen and party lawmaker, Angelina Sondakh, was sentenced last month to 4 1/2 years in jail after being found guilty of accepting $3.6 million in kickbacks in connection with construction of a housing complex for athletes at the 2011 Southeast Asian Games.

Last year, party treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin was sentenced to four years in jail for corruption.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the original story: Indonesia ruling party chief quits amid graft case

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