Analysts have said that political dynasties, grounded in the constitutional right of every citizen to run for office, are commonplace in the country.
“Political dynasties are not foreign to Indonesian democracy. Besides Banten, take a look at Yasin Limpo’s clan in South Sulawesi,” researcher Wawan Ichwanuddin, from the Indonesian Science Institute (LIPI), told The Jakarta Post recently.
Yasin Limpo, who is a former regent of Gowa, Maros, Takalar, has a number of children who hold important positions in South Sulawesi. His son, Syahrul Yasin Limpo, is currently serving his second-term as governor of South Sulawesi after having served two tenures as Gowa regent. Syahrul was succeeded by his brother, Ichsan Yasin Limpo, who is in his second-term as regent. Another son, Haris Yasin Limpo, is a legislator in the Makassar Legislative Assembly. Yasin’s daughter, Tenri Olle Yasin Limpo, is Gowa Legislative Assembly speaker. Yasin Limpo also has a grandson, Adnan Purichta Ichsan Yasin Limpo, in the South Sulawesi Legislative Assembly, as well as a granddaughter, Indira Chunda Thita Syahrul Yasin Limpo, who is a lawmaker in the House of Representatives. What the Limpo family has created over the years is similar to the family of Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah, whose clan has been in the spotlight recently after her brother, Tubagus Chaeri Wardana, was apprehended for allegedly bribing former Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar.
Atut’s brother, Tubagus Haerul Jaman, is the mayor of Serang municipality while her sister, Ratu Tatu Chasanah, is the deputy regent of Serang. Her stepmother, Heryani, is Pandeglang deputy regent, her sister-in-law, Airin Rachmi Diany, is the mayor of South Tangerang, her son Andika Hazrumy is a Regional Representatives Council (DPD) member from Banten and her daughter-in-law, Adde Rosi Khoerunnisa (Andika’s wife), is deputy speaker of the Serang legislative council. Her husband, Hikmat Tomet, is a House of Representatives (DPR) lawmaker from the Golkar Party.
“The goal of a political dynasty is to control a particular region, be it at the provincial or regency level. There are actually a number of political dynasties in Indonesia,” Wawan said.
In Lampung province, Governor Sjachroedin Zainal Pagaralam currently has two sons who have been elected regional leaders: Rycko Menoza won the post of South Lampung regent in 2010 and Handitya Narapati was installed Pringsewu deputy regent in 2011.
University of Indonesia political analyst Arbi Sanit said political dynasties were unlikely to become an issue in the 2014 presidential election because none of the major contenders, including the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the Democratic Party, had solid dynasties within their party structures.
“Relatives of a particular clan in a region usually have strong support, that’s why political dynasties are alive and well in the regions,” Arbi said.
Wawan said political dynasties should be prevented as they could compromise democracy.
“I support the government’s move to recommend endorsing a bill on local elections that would limit the possibility for relatives of incumbent officials to run for office. The bill is currently being discussed by House Commission II on political and home affairs,” Wawan said. (hrl)
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