Prabowo’s leadership divides his party
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Halida Hatta: (JP)
An internal rift has rocked the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), with the party’s founding member and deputy chairperson Halida Hatta resigning in a move that many consider to be a protest against the strong-willed leadership style of the party’s chief patron, Lt. Gen. (ret) Prabowo Subianto.
Halida, daughter of the country’s first vice president Mohammad Hatta, tendered her resignation in April, which was only confirmed last week.
“I was disappointed with the party’s decision to transfer the votes I won in the legislative election to other candidates. I asked for clarification from the party but I never heard anything from them,” she told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
Publicly, Halida said that her reason for quitting was so that she could focus on her day job, a senior public relations officer for a Japan-based gas company.
Halida also said that recently, she could only contribute a little to the party because on many occasions the party had shut her out of the decision making process.
“I think Gerindra could have done so much better if we’d communicated better among ourselves,” Halida said.
Rumors abound that the party’s internal rift was caused by Prabowo’s so-called strong leadership style, which also may have been apparent in the dismissal of Fami Fachrudin, the party’s head of science and technology.
Fami said that there was a deep-seated mistrust among party members with military backgrounds of Gerindra’s civilian politicians, and that this had served to deepen rifts within the party.
“The culture of this military group has led to an abuse of power. We must not tolerate such authoritarianism. The leadership of Gerindra must realize that criticism is a common thing in a democracy,” Fami said on his Twitter web page on July 5.
Fami’s ouster was decided by Prabowo, former son-in-law of former president Soeharto, during the party’s extraordinary meeting, which took place last March.
Fami is said to be close to a senior figure within Gerindra, the party deputy chairman Fadli Zon, and the former’s dismissal was said to be an attack on Fadli.
Fadli dismissed the speculation, saying that Prabowo had the prerogative to fire anybody he wanted.
“There is no such thing. Why bother attacking others while they can attack me directly?” he said.
Fadli, however, told the Post that the decision to fire Fami was made without the presence of the party’s chairman Suhardi.