The “oligarchic” leadership that Aburizal Bakrie is developing within the Golkar Party is threatening democracy and undermining the party itself, according to University of Indonesia political analyst Iberamsyah.
“Aburizal is supposed to be righteous and have the highest authority in doing the best for the party, including the nomination of a presidential hopeful,” he said during a public discussion in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Professor Iberamsyah said that Aburizal’s statement about how his presidential bid won political support from the party’s leadership was a claim designed by a small group of party elites who remained loyal to him as his presidential bid has met widening opposition from other factions in the party and regional functionaries.
In his roadshow to Cilacap in Central Java, Aburizal, the owner and president of the Bakrie Holding Group also known as Ical, said the main agenda in the party’s special leadership meeting in June was to declare him the single presidential hopeful from the party. The declaration was to be made by the party’s executive board and provincial functionaries, who Ical claimed supported his presidential bid in a leadership meeting in Ancol, North Jakarta, last year.
Iberamsyah said other party elites should remind Aburizal of the risk of having an internal-party oligarchy apparently aimed at fighting for the interests of a small group of elites with him as main figure, as the party would be deemed undemocratic and have no sellable competent cadres or figures for the presidential race in 2014.
“I am disappointed by Aburizal’s strong ambition for the presidency and his ignorance of potential figures having a better capability than him. Many people will no longer give their votes to the party if it picks Aburizal as the sole presidential candidate,” he said.
Iberamsyah challenged Aburizal to conduct an internal convention to select presidential and vice presidential candidates if his bid has truly won support from local functionaries.
He said that Aburizal was in a major panic when he threatened to dismiss Aceh municipal branch chairman Muntasir Hamid, who revealed mounting opposition among party functionaries to his presidential bid.
He also said many surveys have been already conducted, including the two from the university’s social and political science department, and Aburizal’s popularity remained low.
“From two surveys conducted by the university, Aburizal’s electability is far below that of former vice president Jusuf Kalla and therefore the former should know better and give the opportunity to the party to determine the best candidate,” he said.