Functional Groups’ number of Seats at the House steadily shrink: National Assembly urged

A number of Golongan Karya – “Golkar” members urge the DPP to immediately hold a Plenary Meeting to accelerate the organizing of a Party National Assembly (Musyawarah Nasional – “Munas”). (photo: IO/Dan)

IO, Jakarta – A number of the Functional Group (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) members have come to believe that the Party’s internal governance is not being run properly by the Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat – “DPP”) Management, after Airlangga Hartarto was elected the Party’s General Chairman in December 2017. Therefore, they now urge the DPP to immediately hold a Plenary Meeting to accelerate the organizing of a Party National Assembly (Musyawarah Nasional – “Munas”).

Vice General Chairman of the Golkar Party’s Younger Generation (Angkatan Muda Partai Golkar – “AMPG”)’s Leadership Council, Andi Nursyam Halid, stated that it is obvious that the Organization is badly-governed. He stated that Airlangga does not run the Party according to applicable Articles and Memoranda of Association. For example, when the Legislative Elections were held in April, a Legislative Candidate from Sumatra was set for candidacy in Java. It is believed that the decision for candidacy region was not taken in a Plenary Meeting. “Therefore, we really request a change of General Chairmanship in the Golkar Party,” Andi stated in a public discussion held by the Youth Troops of Golkar Party (Barisan Pemuda Partai Golkar – “BPPG”) themed “Deep Review of Regulations and Mechanisms in Golkar Party” held in the Sultan Hotel, Jakarta, on Friday (23/08/2019).

Furthermore, Andi stated that there has been little discussion about the ideal composition of future leadership, either in the People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat – “MPR”) or House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”). “Everyone simply made claims and debate among themselves outside of the accepted mechanism. Therefore, only a handful of people conclude decisions in Golkar Party. On the other hand, many of us hold valid Membership Cards, and we all have the right to express our opinion. In other words, there is not much lower rank aspiration heard in this Party,” he said.

The AMPI senior Golkar Activist Front Coordinator Abdi Sahido highlighted the main issue: for years now Golkar Party’s votes have been declining. “Our target for the 2019 Elections was to obtain 110 seats in DPR RI in Senayan, but we only got 85 seats. This is why Golkar Party’s DPP must hold a Leadership Plenary Meeting, because this leader-level forum has the authority to discuss the Party’s strategic issues,” he said.

Abdi further questioned why it is very hard to hold a Golkar Party Plenary Meeting, while Golkar Party DPP has core Legislative officials in its membership, such as Bambang Susatyo, the Speaker of DPR RI; Ridwan Hisyam, Vice Chairman of DPR RI’s Committee VII; Zainudin Amali, Chairman of DPR RI’s Committee II. With an orderly organization mechanism, Golkar Party will generate strong leaders who are able to embrace all groups, especially Millennials.

Meanwhile, Golkar Party senior politician Darul Siska stated that the Party’s internal regulations stipulate that Plenary Meetings should be held at least once every two months. However, they are not held even now. The latest Plenary Meeting during Airlangga’s leadership was in August 2018. “As far as I recall, no Plenary Meetings were held throughout 2019, even though it is the Party’s obligation and the responsibility of the management,” he said.

Siska stated that the Plenary Meeting may discuss many issues, not excepting preparations for Munas. However, he believes that the most important issue is that of Regional Head Elections. He believes that Airlangga has committed an internal violation because he (Airlangga) has not held a National Leadership Assembly (Rapat Pimpinan Nasional – “Rapimnas”) or Munas all year. Even though some groups have written DPP Golkar to push for Plenary Meeting, DPP Management and Airlangga have not responded. “The Management has written twice – the Plenary Management and the Directing Council have both written reminder letters for Plenary Meeting to be held. Despite the letters, the General Chairman now acts, like the proverb, “He has eyes but does not see, has ears but does not hear, and has a heart but does not feel”,” he said.

Naturally, Darul then requested that the Plenary Meeting to be held earlier than the initial plan in December 2019. “We want the Plenary Meeting to be held not in order to replace Airlangga; that is not essential. The important thing is to prepare for Regional Head Elections next year, to ensure that Golkar is better prepared from now on. We want more people to ride the Golkar bandwagon. Otherwise, Golkar would be unattractive to people – ‘Why should I be happy about being pushed for candidacy by Golkar?’ The engine would not be running,” he said.

Earlier, hundreds of AMPG members marched to Golkar Party DPP’s Office in Slipi, West Jakarta, on Thursday (22/08/2019). They demanded that Golkar Party DPP hold a Plenary Meeting immediately. However, based on the information and recommendation of Golkar Party’s General Secretary, they were not allowed to enter.

Makmur Amir, University of Indonesia’s Legal Observer attending the event, stated that the development of a country depends very much on its political parties. The State protects the people and allows it to run organizations. This is a right protected by the Constitution, as the people need to organize themselves as part of their preparation in becoming leaders of the country. Parties are organizations with cadres as their backbone. Therefore, it is only natural that they should consolidate themselves according to the Organization’s regulations. “The backbone of Golkar’s Party is the cadres. In the organizational machine, meetings, whether daily meetings or Plenary Meetings, are the mechanisms used to discuss principal issues and the current and future running of the Organization,” he said.

Makmur further stated that democracy generates room for change. In democracy, leaders may be changed, especially if they do not run things according to regulations. They will then be replaced with Acting Officials. However, the support of candidates nearing the Munas Golkar is an ordinary course of action. It is fine for the organization to make an official statement of support, and it is the members’ basic right to privately differ from the Party’s stance. (Dan)