PPP retracts support for Prabowo
The Jakarta Post
Following an intense internal rift over the past two weeks, the United Development Party (PPP) announced on Wednesday that its top executives had agreed to reconcile and collectively discuss which candidate the Islamic-based party would support in the upcoming presidential election.
PPP lawmaker and secretary-general Romahurmuziy said the decision had been taken in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday that involved party chairman Suryadharma Ali and several PPP executives and senior members.
The meeting, according to Romahurmuziy, rescinded the recent dismissals of several party members.
"All decisions on the dismissals have been annulled and the party has officially returned to the status quo," he said on the sidelines of the party's national meeting in a hotel in Bogor, West Java, which was held after the closed-door meeting.
Suryadharma had faced mounting pressure to step down from a group of party executives and local leaders following his appearance at a Gerindra Party rally in Jakarta. During the rally he made a speech endorsing the presidential bid of Gerindra chief patron Prabowo Subianto.
Suryadharma then fired several senior party members, including PPP deputy chairman Suharso Monoarfa, for planning a meeting to remove him from the leadership. He later announced that the PPP would ally with Gerindra to support Prabowo's presidential candidacy.
Suryadharma's moves, however, immediately backfired with many top executives, including Romahurmuziy and deputy chairman Emron Pangkapi, holding a meeting to officially remove Suryadharma as leader of the party.
Suryadharma was not seen attending the main meeting, which will decide which candidate the party will endorse in the upcoming presidential election.
In his opening remarks, Emron reiterated that Suryadharma's earlier support for Prabowo was 'unconstitutional'.
"No PPP leader can put his personal interests above the party's constitution," he said.
Many quick counts have suggested that the PPP garnered at least 6 percent of the vote in the April 9 legislative election.
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