National

End of the road for SRI
Party and PKBN

The Law and Human Rights Ministry announced on Friday that the National Archipelago Prosperity Party (PKBN) and the Union of Independent Peoples’ Party (SRI) failed to pass the verification process.

Minister Amir Syamsuddin said in a press briefing on Friday at the Ministry office in Kuningan, South Jakarta, that the only new party that had passed the verification process was the National Democratic (Nasdem) Party.

Officials from both PKBN and SRI quickly denounced the decision, suspecting that it was politically-motivated.

PKBN chairperson Zannuba Arifah Chafsoh “Yenny” Wahid said after the announcement that she was surprised with the ruling, saying that her party had met all conditions set by the ministry. Yenny told The Jakarta Post that the party should have been eligible to contest the 2014 election.

Yenny alleged that Muhaimin Iskandar, the current Minister of Manpower and Transmigration in President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s cabinet, who was also chairman of the National Awakening Party (PKB), had intervened in the ministry’s decision.

“We see that there is a conspiracy to eliminate PKBN, because we had so many suspicions during the verification process,” she said.

A previously leaked document obtained by the Post revealed that on Aug. 25 Muhaimin and PKB secretary-general Imam Nahrawi formally requested the ministry reject the PKBN proposal. PKBN was founded by Yenny Wahid, the daughter of Indonesia’s fourth president, Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid, founder of the PKB party.

Muhaimin said that the ministry should rule PKBN ineligible for the poll because its name and logo had “many similarities” with that of PKB.

Yenny said that her party had evidence that the PKB intentionally intervened with the verification process. Yenny said that her staff found PKBN documents stashed in PKB headquarters.

Yenny said her party would challenge the ministry’s decision and insisted that it would join the 2014 general election.

“This is the will of Gus Dur — the PKBN must contest the 2014 elections,” Yenny said.

SRI Party chairman Damianus Taufan, who repeatedly said that his party had fulfilled all administrative requirements, also alleged that political manipulation could be behind the ministry’s decision.

“However, we don’t want to make allegations against anyone or any certain party, because we have yet to find evidence to back our claim,” Damianus said.

The Friday announcement dealt a severe blow to supporters of the SRI Party, who expected to nominate former Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati as its presidential candidate in the 2014 elections, Taufan said.

Damianus said that it was not the end for the SRI Party.

He said that the party would still nominate Sri Mulyani in collaboration with other, more established political parties. Several parties have extended offers inviting the SRI Party to join their bandwagons, he added.

“But we will only choose one party that has a similar platform with the SRI Party and has a decent track record,” he said.

Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) political analyst Ikrar Nusa Bhakti said that the Law and
Human Rights Ministry had made the right decision in barring PKBN and SRI from contesting the 2014 election.

He said that the two parties were lagging behind the Nasdem Party in their preparations.

During the press conference, deputy minister Denny Indrayana shrugged off speculation of political manipulation, saying that all of the ministry’s staff performed their tasks professionally during the verification process.

“They based their decision on the law and their conscience,” he said. (sat)

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