Invoking “history”, Democrat expects position as Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly

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Democrat Party Vice General Chairman Syarief Hasan. (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Even though the Legislative Election dispute is not yet settled through the Constitution Court, a number of politicians have already started flirting and lobbying with each other in order to get top seats in the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”) and the People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat – “MPR”). After the news that Functional Group (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) Party, Great Indonesia Movement (Gerakan Indonesia Raya – “Gerindra”) Party, and United Development Party (Partai Persatuan Pembangunan – “PPP”) are aiming for the chairmanship of MPR, now it is the Democrat party that expressly demands to be given the chairmanship of the upcoming tenure for MPR. It reminds everyone of the “history” of having shared seats with other parties using the package system when the Democrats became a majority legislative party in 2009.

Democrat Party Vice General Chairman Syarief Hasan stated that 10 years ago, the Democrats, as the party with the most votes, won the DPR Chairman’s seat. However, they made an agreement with the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “PDIP”) that allowed PDIP to become the Speaker of MPR at the time. Therefore, it is time for a payback: the use of the package system would allow the Democrat Party to gain leadership of MPR this time. “If DPR is chaired by PDIP, it would be quite nice if MPR is chaired by a Democrat candidate,” Syarief said at the Parliamentary Complex in Senayan recently.

He further stated that his party is the one most acceptable by both the Government coalition and the opposing coalition. The position as Speaker of the MPR is the one most strategic for balancing the Government’s policies. Therefore, he is certain that PDIP, as the winning party in the 2019 Elections, would agree to share the leadership chair at the parliament with the Democrat party. “There is no resistance from the coalition parties, and Democrat party is strongly used to collaborating with all political parties,” he said.

Syarief is certain that communication between Democrat Party and PDIP to discuss the chairmanship will take place soon. In fact, Democrats have already prepared a candidate for the position. “I think our (Democrat Party) General Chairman has already thought about it. We just need to wait for the right timing – on when to start lobbying among the factions and the party general chairmen,” he said. “We are still watching over developments. We shall see how we will have to lobby others later,” he said.

Separately, the Deputy General Chairman of Gerindra’s Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat – “DPP”), Sufmi Dasco Ahmad, stated that there has been no internal discussion at the Party level concerning the leadership of Indonesia’s Legislative Institutions, i.e. DPR RI and MPR RI. Gerindra is currently focusing on internal consolidation after the 2019 Presidential Elections and Legislative Elections ended. “Until now, we have not discussed it because it is still a long time away,” he said. “We might possibly discuss this in October, but that actually depends on Mr. Prabowo,” he said. (dan)