The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) says it wants to regain the public’s trust by creating smart, clean and honest members through a system of rewards and punishments.
Head of the PDI-P’s ethics council Sidarto Danusubroto said on Friday that political parties in Indonesia had gloomy futures because of waning trust from voters.
“The lack of trust from the public is not only our problem, I believe. It is every party’s problem. We are trying to rebuild a clean image by showing our commitment in combating any breach of the party’s statutes,” he said on the sidelines of the party’s coordinating meeting in Jakarta.
The Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) released a report in May that showed that voter participation had declined 20 percent over the last three general elections.
Endemic corruption, bribery and ethics abuse cases implicating legislators have driven people’s trust away from political parties.
Following its congress in Bali in April last year, the party has established an ethics council that also functions as a monitoring body.
Sidarto said his party deserved a chance to show the party’s improvements in combating corruption and bribery cases.
“Give us [the ethics council] time to do this unpopular job,” he said.
The party’s efforts to improve its image have been hit by the recent exposure of several bribery cases implicating party members.
The bribery case in the election of Bank Indonesia senior deputy governor Miranda Goeltom in 2004 has implicated 30 lawmakers and former lawmakers, 12 from the PDI-P.
They allegedly received traveler’s checks ranging from Rp 350 million (US$ 40,950) to Rp 1.45 billion in value.
The whistle-blower in the case, politician Agus Condro, was subsequently dismissed from the PDI-P.
He was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Thursday.
Sidarto said that since last April the ethics council had dismissed 14 members, suspended 15, demoted 23, and issued written warnings to 32.
Ranked as the nation’s third-largest party after the Democratic Party and the Golkar Party, the PDI-P claims it has more than 30 million supporters throughout Indonesia.
Party secretary-general Tjahjo Kumolo said that his party had obligated all of its provincial and regency branches to have advocacy teams.
“We want our regional factions in the House of Representatives to have advocacy teams. If we don’t have such teams, how can we asses, understand, and deliberate each bill properly? We don’t want to make any wrong steps,” he said. (lfr)