Democrats champion SBY’s achievements, not Prabowo’s
The Jakarta Post
Democratic Party legislative candidates have been directed to campaign by championing the achievements of party chairman and former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) during his two-term presidency.
"We explain everything achieved by the Democrats over 10 years, from 2004 to 2014, when president SBY led this country," Democratic leader and SBY's son Agus Harimurti said at a party event in Central Jakarta on Sunday as quoted by kompas.com.
Despite the Democratic Party's official support for the Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno presidential ticket, the party's leadership is also allowing its members to support President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's reelection bid.
"An internal Democratic Party survey shows that the majority [of party members] choose Pak Prabowo, but there are also some who, according to the culture of their region, support Pak Jokowi," Democratic executive Edhie Baskoro said. "We cannot punish [those who support Jokowi], we can only urge them [to support Prabowo]."
The Democratic Party's membership in the opposition coalition initially hung in the balance, with the party still undecided just hours before Prabowo and Sandiaga registered their candidacy with the General Elections Commission (KPU).
The Democrats' alliance with the Gerindra Party chairman was thrown into a tailspin when Prabowo informed them that he was considering then-Jakarta deputy governor Sandiaga as his running mate, when Agus had previously been among the frontrunners for the vice presidential slot.
Democratic executive Agus Hermanto said the party was focusing on both the legislative and presidential elections.
"Right now the Democratic Party is fighting for the legislative and presidential elections. We must be successful in both," he said on Tuesday. "We want to repeat our days of glory from 2009. If not, at least approaching that. Everything has to be better than in 2014."
The Democrats won 20.85 percent of the vote in the 2009 legislative election, when SBY was at the height of his popularity, giving the party more House of Representative seats than any other party. The party fell to fourth place in the 2014 election, garnering only 10.19 percent of the vote. (kmt)
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