Hopes dim for SRI to endorse Sri Mulyani
The Union of Independent People’s Party (SRI), which was established to endorse former finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati as a presidential candidate in 2014, faces an uphill battle in carrying out its mission.
The Law and Human Rights Ministry announced on Friday that the only new party that passed the verification process for being eligible to participate in the 2010 general elections was the Nasdem Party.
The SRI party, along with the National Archipelago Prosperity Party (PKBN) and the Functional Republic Party (Pakar) were given a deadline until Nov. 25 to complete their administrative requirements.
The PKBN, a splinter group of the National Awakening Party (PKB), was founded by Zannuba Arifah Chafsoh “Yenny” Wahid, the daughter of Indonesia’s fourth president Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid.
Pakar is led by Ary Haryo Wibowo Harjojudanto, known as Ary Sigit, who is the grandson of former president Soeharto.
Although many observers have touted Mulyani as a reform icon and a person of integrity who could potentially be one of Indonesia’s strongest presidential candidates, Mul-yani has never announced that she would accept a nomination.
SRI Party officials questioned the ministry’s announcement, claiming that it had fulfilled all requirements set by the ministry. Party officials would question the ruling before the ministry on Monday, party chairman Damianus Taufan said.
Unlike Damianus, PKBN’s Yenny said the party appreciated the ministry’s decision. “There might have been interpretation differences on the regulations concerning verification requirements. We have begun working on it,” she said.
Law and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin also announced during the conference that the Nasdem Party had become the only new political party to have thus far passed the ministry’s verification process. “The party meets the requirements as a political party and has legal rights.”
The Nasdem Party, which is affiliated with the National Democrats mass-organization, founded by media mogul and former Golkar Party chief patron Surya Paloh, has recently been under public scrutiny after it recruited media czar Hary Tanoesoedibjo.
The party’s ability to pass the verification has been seen as further proof of strong financial and human resources, particularly given the difficult requirements set by the new 2011 Political Parties Law.
The law, for instance, obliges political parties to maintain branch offices in all of Indonesia’s 33 provinces, 75 percent of the nation’s cities and regencies and 50 percent of all districts.
Hary and Surya’s massive media networks have also added political magnetism to the party, prompting observers to believe that the new party will be a strong political contender ahead the 2014 polls.
A number of established political parties, such as the Golkar Party and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) have also said that they would be open to a coalition with Nasdem.
SRI Party supporter and noted academic Rocky Gerung acknowledged the Nasdem Party’s superiority, saying it was “way ahead” of the SRI Party in terms of preparation and resources.
Only 14 new political parties had filed applications for verification with the ministry. The other 11 parties include the National Republic Party, the National Union Party, the Union of Independent People Party and the Indonesian People’s Awakening Party. (sat)