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Jakarta Post

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  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Fri, December 6 2019   /  01:18 am

The battle for the chairmanship of the Golkar Party has proved to be something of an anticlimax following the withdrawal of People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker Bambang Soesatyo from the race, allowing the incumbent, Airlangga Hartarto, to win reelection by acclamation. While Bambang’s graceful exit avoids Golkar enduring a potential schism that could beget unnecessary political distraction, the government’s blatant hand in the party’s internal affairs gives us cause for concern.Bambang dropped his bid for the chairmanship post after he met with Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan and former Golkar chairman Aburizal Bakrie at Luhut’s office, a few hours before President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo opened the Golkar congress Wednesday.Whatever the reasons behind Bambang’s decision and any deal reached between him and Luhut, also a senior...