Airlangga appoints former rival as Party’s Deputy General Chairman

The Golkar Party’s General Chairman Airlangga Hartarto states at the Presidential Palace Complex, Jakarta, on Tuesday (10/12/2019) that the Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Bambang Soesatyo alias Bamsoet has been appointed as the Party’s Vice General Chairman. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

 IO, Jakarta – When Airlangga Hartarto was unanimously elected as the General Chairman of the Functional Group (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) Party in the Party’s 10th National Conference (Musyawarah Nasional – “Munas”) last week, he appointed his former rival, Bambang Soesatyo (“Bamsoet”), as the Party’s Vice General Chairman. “Mr. Bamsoet is one of my Vice General Chairmen. Not a candidate, but we have decided it that way,” Airlangga said at the Presidential Palace Complex in Jakarta on Tuesday (10/12/2019). “He agreed, and we shook (hands) on it yesterday.” 

Airlangga stated that he will announce the roll call of Golkar’s management under his leadership on 15 January 2020. He further stated that he will grant the authority to assist the organization of Golkar’s Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat – “DPP”) in the next term to four cadres: Ahmad Doli Kurnia, representing the Western region; Zainudin Amali, representing the Central region; Melki Laka Lena, representing the Eastern region; and Ilham Permana, representing Golkar’s sub-organizations. 

Before the Munas was held on Tuesday (03/12/2019), five of the nine candidates registered for the Golkar Chairmanship passed the administrative selection: Ridwan Hisjam, Airlangga, Bamsoet, Agun Gunandjar, and Ali Yahya. The four registrants who failed administrative requirements are: Aris Mandji, Derek Loupatty, Indra Bambang Utoyo, and Achmad Annama. 

However, right before Munas Opening Night, three of these four candidates suddenly resigned: Bamsoet, Agun Gunandjar, and Ali Yahya. Bamsoet stated that the resignation is bitter for him, but it is necessary for Golkar’s unity. He decided to leave the race after meeting with Airlangga and senior Golkar politician Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan at the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime and Investment Affairs’ Office in the afternoon before the Munas was held. “The nobility required to accept political facts is highly appreciated. We all know that victory is within our grasp, but never mind. We must prioritize a wider interest, i.e. the unity of the Golkar Party,” Bamsoet stated in his resignation statement. 

After the three candidates resigned, Airlangga’s remaining rival was Ridwan Hisjam. However, Ridwan was helpless against Airlangga, as the Level I-II Regional Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Daerah – “DPD”) management, as well as Golkar’s NGOs and sub-organizations, all stated on Wednesday (04/12/2019) that they vote for Airlangga. “As the ambience has cooled down and there are no other candidates, do we agree in this 10th Munas forum to keep things brief and allow us to appoint Mr. Airlangga as the General Chairman of Golkar’s DPP for the 2019-2024 term, aye?” said the 10th Golkar Munas’ Chairman Azis Syamsuddin at Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Jakarta, on Wednesday (04/12/2019) night. His question was roundly agreed to by Munas participants in general. 

Golkar’s 10th Munas Secretary, M. Sarmudji, then read out the Munas judgment: Airlangga was appointed as Golkar’s General Chairman that evening. “We hereby appoint and validate Mr. Ir. Airlangga Hartarto as the General Chairman of Golkar DPP for the 2019- 2024 term,” he said. 

Airlangga was duly appointed when the Munas Chairman, Azis Syamsuddin, has heard out the general opinions of 34 DPDs, NGOs, and sub-organizations, as well as the opinions of the Advisory Council, Expert Council, and Honor Council, all of whom have received the accountability report of the previous term’s DPP management. The 558 voters unanimously agreed to appoint Airlangga as the General Chairman. (dan)