Prabowo raises funds; Gerindra denies being 'cash-strapped'
The Jakarta Post
Gerindra Party central executive board chairman Habiburokhman has rejected speculations that the party is cash-strapped.
He made the statement in response to Gerindra patron Prabowo Subianto’s decision to raise funds to cover the party’s political costs.
“No, it’s not at all [that Gerindra has been cash-strapped]. Crowdfunding is something normal in a democratic country,” said Habiburokhman as quoted by kompas.com in Jakarta on Friday.
Habiburokhman cited politics in the United States as an example. Former US president Barack Obama and his successor, Donald Trump, had raised funds from their supporters to help finance their campaigns as presidential candidates.
“It [crowdfunding] has a democratic, philosophical value, in which it aims to involve society to participate in the struggle since the very beginning,” said Habiburokhman.
He further said donations from the society could remove unhealthy old practices, in which many political parties were funded by only a wealthy person or a group of several rich people. Such a practice is dangerous to democracy, he said.
“It can happen that those people have a certain privilege in the party, through which they want to build undemocratic policies,” said Habiburokhman.
He said the collected money would be used to cover Gerindra’s political costs, such as campaigns and social assistance for party constituents who suffered from problems, and that he would make sure that the funds are used transparently.
Prabowo announced his fundraising initiative via his Facebook account on Thursday evening. He said the democratic process in Indonesia was very costly; hence, many potential candidates suffered losses from other candidates with higher financial support. (ebf)
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