IO – Functional Group (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) Party General Chairman Airlangga Hartarto is said to have a strong chance to become a candidate for the 2024 Presidential Elections. Many are trying to match him up for the position with many possible partners, among others with Democrat Party General Chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (“AHY”).
However, Indo Barometer Executive Director Muhammad Qodari believes that it will be very hard for this duet to repeat an earlier partnership between Democrat and Golkar – one where Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (“SBY”) successfully became the President with Jusuf Kalla (“JK”) as his Vice President. “It is rather delusional if one should say that partnering AHY with Airlangga will generate a repeat of the glorious partnership between SBY and JK. AHY’s electability today is far different from SBY’s back in 2004,” he said. “This partnership will become a burden for Golkar. I feel sorry for Golkar Party, a party with so many seats secured, if their candidate is partnered up with a candidate with mediocre popularity, mediocre electability. I feel sorry for both Mr. Airlangga and for Golkar Party, really. They have such a vast difference in electability and experience. Mr. Airlangga has so much more experience in Government. AHY has never been a member of the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”), has never been a minister, has never been a regional head.”
Qodari suggests that Golkar puts Airlangga Hartarto as candidate alongside another figure with similarly high electability. “It would be better for Golkar to put Airlangga Hartarto as a solo Presidential Candidate – or if they want to put him up as Vice Presidential Candidate, they should partner him up with an equally highly popular Presidential Candidate,” he said.
Qodari went on to say that AHY cannot be equated with SBY. “But here is what I want to emphasize: The problems faced by my friends in the Democrat all occur because they keep on seeing as if AHY is the equal of SBY, while they absolutely cannot be compared with each other. In terms of a military career, SBY is a retired General (while AHY is only a Major); in terms of political career, SBY repeatedly became minister. In terms of electability, SBY was number two most popular in his first survey, then he became the top name. He is far above his son no matter how you look. It is no wonder that Democrat Party finds it hard to resurrect themselves, let alone to advance. Their view of AHY is unrealistic, as they keep on insisting that he is equal to SBY,” he said.
Democrat Party expressed its opinion concerning Qodari’s views through the Party’s Deputy of the Central Leadership Council R & D Committee, Syahrial Nasution. He stated that Qodari’s analysis about the AHY-Airlangga partnership is weak and erroneous. “Qodari’s analysis is normative, showing that he doesn’t have the qualifications for being a researcher, let alone an good one. It’s erroneous to boot,” Syahrial declared to the press. “It shows that he has personal interest that he values more than his honor as an observer or researcher. The only logical conclusion I can make is that perhaps his rice bowl is broken, because he failed to oust AHY as a supporter of Moeldoko and the Sibolangit Extraordinary Congress.” (des)