National

Surya Paloh-Ical meeting
not political, says Golkar
top brass

Golkar Party deputy chairman Agung Laksono dismissed the speculation suggesting that the meeting between NasDem Party chairman Surya Paloh and Golkar chairman Aburizal “Ical” Bakrie was a signal of a
potential political partnership.

Surya and Ical, who had a history of political rivalry when the two competed over the Golkar chairman post, looked engaged in a very intense discussion during a breaking of the fast gathering at NasDem headquarters in Jakarta on Wednesday.

 “That was just a breaking of the fast gathering, nothing political. They met as fellow Muslims,” Agung, who is also the coordinating people’s welfare minister, told journalists at the State Palace.

Surya was a former Golkar supervisory board chief. In 2009, he lost the party chairmanship race to Ical.In 2011, he left the party and two years later he was appointed as the chairman of the NasDem Party.

Agung acknowledged Surya and Ical had shared different political perspectives. “But maintaining communication is always good even with a political rival,” he said.

“Instead of hatred, we should be engaging in warm communication in line with the Ramadhan spirit.”

The minister said he did not know if Golkar had been exploring the possibility of a coalition with NasDem.

“But such a chance, in politics, is always on the table,” he said. (dic)

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