Internal disruption of the Democrat Party: Government to respond according to applicable laws

General Chairman of the Democrat Party’s DPP Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono and Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko.(Photo: RAYI GIGIH/IO)

IO – The Democrat Party is in a turmoil. The trouble came out into the open when the General Chairman of the Party’s Central Leadership Council (DPP) Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (“AHY”) accused unnamed parties of efforts to take over leadership of his Party: he intimated these are persons within the circle of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). He alleged that these efforts are being made to turn Democrat Party into a political vehicle for the upcoming Presidential Elections 2024.

However, AHY stated that he prioritizes a stance of presumption of innocence. Therefore, “This morning, I have sent an official letter to the Honorable President Jokowi to obtain confirmation and clarification from him concerning the truth of the news that we have received,” AHY at the Political Park of the DPP Democrat Party’s Wisma Proklamasi, Jakarta, on Monday (01/03/2021).

AHY stated that the effort to take over the Democrat Party is allegedly instigated by five persons: “Four of them are, regrettably, our own people: One active Democrat cadre, one Democrat cadre who has been inactive for 6 years, one former cadre that was dishonorably discharged from the party for corruption 9 years ago, and one former cadre who left the party 3 years ago; and a non-cadre of the Party, a high-level Government official. Once again, we are requesting President Joko Widodo to confirm and clarify the issue,” he said.

Later on, these persons are alleged to include, in random order, Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko, former Democrat Party General Secretary Marzuki Alie, and former Democrat senior politician Max Sopacua.

After the shock created by this news of mutiny in the Democrat Party, Max Sopacua, one of the Party’s founders, planned to organize an Extraordinary Congress with the help of other founders. He expressed his surprise and anger for being included in the alleged mutiny stated by AHY as the Party’s own General Chairman. “As a founder of the Democrat Party, I am responsible for making improvements to the Party when I feel that it has gone off the track. Now, there are bad indications and we need to get the Party back on track, to get back together for the sake of our interests. Nobody can take me out of the Democrat. Who can kick me out of the Democrat? Who? I’m the Declarator (of its establishment),” he said.

Max did not bluff: He and his cohorts held the Extraordinary Congress in Deli Serdang, North Sumatera, on Friday, 5 March 2021. The Congress then appointed Moeldoko as the General Chairman of the Democrat Party for the 2021-2025 term, and furthermore declared that then-General Chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono is impeached.

After his appointment, Moeldoko requested in his acceptance speech that all of the Party’s cadres unify their forces and strive together to reclaim the glory of the Party. “If we exert all of our forces, we can shock Indonesia,” Moeldoko stated at the Democrat Party Second Extraordinary Congress held at The Hills Hotel & Resort, Sibolangit, Deli Serdang, North Sumatera. “If I should speak of leadership, the power of a commander rests upon the shoulder of field commanders like all of you are. Commanders are useless without tough soldiers, and a leader’s duty is to give strength to the commanders under their command. That’s what a leader do, and they do not make their subordinates smaller. That is a leader, giving amazing strength and energy to their subordinates. I appreciate your request: You have asked me to become the General Chairman of the Democrat Party. Therefore, I appreciate and thank you for this honor. I accept.”

After Moeldoko was elected in the Extraordinary Congress, AHY responded by declaring that he is the legitimate chairman of the Party, not Moeldoko, in a special press conference at the DPP Democrat Party, Jl. Proklamasi, Jakarta, on Monday (08/03/2021). “We specifically invite our friends of the press to this Press Conference, wherein I am making my statements within my capacity as the legal General Chairman of the Democrat Party,” AHY said. “I declare that the Extraordinary Congress held by a number of active cadres and former cadres in cahoots with external parties is illegal and unconstitutional. Naturally, I am not standing here alone. It may seem that I am only accompanied by my General Secretary, Mr. Teuku Riefky Harsya, but I actually stand tall here as a representative of the millions of cadres and sympathizers of the Democrat Party.”

AHY went on to say that he is willing to forgive Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko in his capacity as a General Chairman of a Party towards an erring Party Cadre for the latter’s involvement in the Extraordinary Congress that was held in Deli Serdang. “If he is aware of his error and acknowledges it, I would personally forgive him. Especially since I am a former soldier and he was a former commander, I still respect him. That is the martial tradition that we uphold strictly in the military. Once a soldier always a soldier,” he said.

Agus requests that Moeldoko follows his own sense of honor and realize that what happened, that what he did, has hurt the hearts of hundreds of thousands, even millions, of Democrat Party cadres and sympathizers. “I personally have no issues with Mr. Moeldoko. However, I am honestly disappointed, because whether I like it or not, he was involved in the move to take over the Democrat Party. On the other hand, we are all humans, and we all have weaknesses and errors,” he said. “Dear Democrat cadres and sympathizers, even if you are poor in wealth you must not be poor in dignity. We need to live our lives based on knowledge, ethics, and morals. Because our country is based on these strong foundations that Insha Allah, if Allah wills it, it gets bigger and better.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly admits that he has received the report sent by the Management of Democrat Party with Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (“AHY”) as its General Chairman concerning the Extraordinary Congress that was held in Deli Serdang, North Sumatera. “My Director General has received it, and he has duly reported it to me,” Yasonna said after the Joint Work Meeting with House of Representatives’ Legislative Committee at the Parliamentary Complex, Jakarta, on Tuesday (09/03/2021).

Yasonna went on to request that the Chairman of the Democrat Party’s High Council, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (“SBY”), and the General Chairman of the Party, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (“AHY”), to refrain from attacking the Government with groundless accusations. He promises to be objective and professional in reviewing the case in accordance with applicable rules and regulations. “Like I said to a Democrat Management the other day, “Please ask Mr. SBY and AHY to refrain from accusing this and that about the Government. Just write it down, we are objective really. Do not attack us for no reason,”” he said.

Yasonna views the Democrat turmoil to be an internal problem. “So far, the part of the Democrat Party under the Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko have not submitted the results of their KLB for

validation from the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. When the KLB Report arrives, we will review it to see whether or not it was held in accordance with the provisions of the Democrat Party’s own Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association, as well as the provisions of applicable law. This is what’s important,” he said.