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Jakarta Post

Bakrie in peril as Jokowi gains

  • Bagus BT Saragih and Margareth S. Aritonang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, April 29, 2014   /  09:07 am

Despite the Golkar Party'€™s impressive showing in the April 9 legislative election, the presidential bid of party chairman Aburizal Bakrie is in peril as rival factions within his party step up their efforts to unseat him from the party'€™s top job.

Aburizal'€™s candidacy also looks to be in jeopardy following the decision made by the Hanura Party to move closer to the Gerindra Party, led by presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto.

Prabowo and Hanura chairman Wiranto, who have had a strained relationship over the years from their time in the Indonesian Military (TNI), met last week to talk about a possible coalition, Gerindra secretary-general Ahmad Muzani said on Monday.

'€œWiranto has given some positive signals. God willing, the formation of our partnership with Hanura will be finalized this week,'€ he said.

Golkar politicians had been optimistic that a coalition with Hanura alone, which garnered 5.4 percent of the vote based on quick-count results, would be enough to secure the minimum 20 percent of House of Representatives seats required to nominate a presidential candidate.

As for Prabowo, the collaboration with Hanura alone, if it materializes, would not secure him a presidential ticket, as Gerindra only garnered 11.8 percent of the vote.

Aburizal, meanwhile, has been fending off attacks from rivals within his party.

On Sunday, Golkar executive Yorrys Raweyai, in his capacity as chairman of the Golkar Party Youth Generation (AMPG), met with leaders of the party'€™s wing organizations including Kosgoro, the Indonesian Reform Youth Force, the Central Organization for Indonesian Employees, the Mutual Assistance Consultative Organization and the United Women of the Golkar Party.

Yorrys said that the organizations would join forces to demand Aburizal'€™s resignation as party chairman for his failure to reach the party'€™s legislative election target of 30 percent of the popular vote.

The youth wing organizations also accused Aburizal of deliberately sidelining them in favor of the party'€™s regional leaders. In so doing, they appear to be backing the move made by Golkar'€™s advisory council chairman, Akbar Tandjung, to press for Aburizal'€™s ousting.

Responding to the move, Aburizal convened a meeting on Monday evening with executives from the party'€™s 33 provincial branches.

Golkar secretary-general Idrus Marham said after the meeting that Aburizal had '€œmistreated'€ the youth wing organizations. '€œEverything has been carried out in accordance with the party'€™s statute,'€ he added.

Meanwhile, following its falling-out with Gerindra, the United Development Party (PPP) is now moving closer to the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

On Monday, a member of the PPP'€™s board of patrons, Hamzah Haz, and deputy party chairman Suharso Monoarfa held a meeting together with PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri at her private residence in Central Jakarta to discuss a possible coalition.

After the two-hour meeting, Hamzah, who was Megawati'€™s vice president between 2001 and 2004, said '€œthere is a chance [to team up] with the PDI-P.'€

'€œI suggested [to Megawati] that she work with as many parties as possible [in the coalition] so that the PDI-P will have strong support in the government. The PPP once worked with the PDI-P [in government], so why not?,'€ Hamzah said.

The PDI-P, which was directly represented by its presidential candidate, Jakarta Governor Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo, also met with Wiranto, Aburizal and Akbar.

PDI-P secretary-general Tjahjo Kumolo said the meetings were aimed at '€œmaintaining good ties'€.

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