Like father, [not] like son: AHY cannot replicate SBY’s success

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General Chairman of the Democrat Party Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat – “DPP”) of the Democrat Party, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (“AHY”). (Photos: Rayi Gigih/IO)

IO – Nurjaman Center Indonesia Demokrasi (“NCID”)’s Executive Director, Jajat Nurjaman, stated that survey results from a number of agencies about Democrat Party electability in the 2024 Elections is completely the opposite of cur- rent facts. One factor that can in- crease political party electability is the existence of potential politi- cal figures. Meanwhile, Democrat Party has been repeatedly aban- doned by its best cadres: “Say, for example, former Governor of West Nusa Tenggara, Tuan Guru Bajang, or Max Sopacua. Notwith- standing the dynamics of internal politics  in  the  Democrat  Party, the departure of these potential political figures shows that Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (“AHY”) as the leader has failed to keep the Democrat Party together,” he said in a written statement on Wednes- day (20/01/2021).

Jajat stated that as the Gen- eral Chairman of the Democrat Party Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat – “DPP”) and a young political figure, AHY should have been able to bring positive changes into national politics. However, if he does not have solid support from potential cadres, the Democrat Party will have trouble repeating its suc- cess during the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (“SBY”) era. “In view of continuously changing political conditions, the Democrat Party should have been able to continue to optimize its role as the oppos- ing party. However, there is also the possibility that this sub-op- timal performance is simply be- cause the Democrat Party is not yet used to becoming the opposing party. After all, it chose to become a gray party in the previous peri- od,” he said.

Political  observer  Emrus  Si- hombing  believes  that  it  is  the difference of leadership styles be- tween SBY and AHY that pushes militant Democrat cadres away. “I notice that Mr. SBY’s style of getting close to senior cadres to be  absent  from  AHY,  while  the support  of  senior  cadres  is  es- sential. I suggest that the baton of Democrat leadership should be returned to Mr. SBY as the Party trains really strong cadres. This is because in Indonesia, the ex- istence of central figures in any political party is crucial to serve as the glue that maintains the in- tegrity of the Party and the motor that runs its movements,” he said. As we still have four more years before the next elections in 2024, this is the right moment for the Democrat Party to go down and serve the people – especially amid this period of pandemics and di- sasters.  Being  present  among the people and providing effective solutions for their current prob- lems will naturally improve the Party’s image and provide it with ammunition for 2024. “They can provide COVID-19 ambulances, establish COVID-19 care centers, and provide doctors for remote villages.  The  Party’s  top  brass should also go down to the field and provide solutions, such as distributing basic necessities for disaster victims, including food and  tents.  Party  cadres  in  the House of Representatives (DPR) and  at  the  Regional  House  of Representatives (DPRD) should dare to position themselves as the balancing opposition that defends the needs of the people by propos- ing Draft Laws that will help them, for example a Draft Law against communication crimes. This is a crime that has been proliferating lately but there are no laws that cover it yet,” he said.

However, if the Democrat Par- ty really wants to push AHY as a presidential candidate in 2024, it must start marketing strate- gies for establishing his personal branding among the people. It must also establish political com- munication by proposing ideas that the people can use. “Both of these efforts must start at the lat- est in June this year. By 1 July, they should be able to push this to the public and start working on it. The years 2022 and 2023 will be the time to prove that Demo- crat is really working for the peo- ple, while 2024 is the time to seek the right running mate. They re- ally need to make thorough plans until the middle of the year. If they fail to make systematic, creative, innovative plans that really offer solutions, it will be impossible for them,” he said. (dan)