The Jakarta Post
The Gerindra Party is ready to become a sole opposition party if other members of the Red-and-White Coalition want to join the ruling Great Indonesia Coalition, the party's deputy chairman Arief Poyuono said in Jakarta on Friday.
'We declare that we are ready to become a sole opposition party. We will not join the [Joko] 'Jokowi' [Widodo]-Jusuf Kalla government,' Arief said, adding that his party would not be troubled if Red-and-White Coalition members moved to join the ruling coalition, kompas.com reported.
The Red-and-White is a group of political parties that supported losing presidential candidate and current Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto in the 2014 election. Initially, the coalition consisted of Gerindra, the Golkar Party, the National Mandate Party (PAN), the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the United Development Party (PPP).
But after the leadership change, PAN expressed its wish to join the ruling coalition in a reported effort to gain a ministerial post in the planned Cabinet reshuffle. Meanwhile, Golkar and the PPP have also stated that they are already to join the ruling party.
Arief stressed that Gerindra would remain an opposition party and would continue to be critical of the government's policies, particularly if the party considered policies to be not in line with the people's interests.
According to Arief, if Golkar, under the leadership of Aburizal Bakrie, joined the ruling coalition, it would be beneficial for the government because as the second-largest party during the recent legislative elections, it has a significant role in the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, PKS leaders met with President Jokowi at the State Palace recently, but said they would not join the government's side. (bbn)
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