LSI: “Airlangga stronger than Bamsoet”

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Airlangga Hartarto, the Coordinating Minister of Economy and Golkar’s Incumbent General Chairman. (photo: Golkar Doc.)

IO, Jakarta – The appointment of candidacy for the Functional Group (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) Party General Chairmanship will be made in the National Assembly (Musyawarah National – “Munas”) to be held at the end of the year. The current campaign has been heating up again recently. It cooled down earlier when one of the fierce rivals, Bambang Soesatyo (Bamsoet), was elected as the Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat – “MPR”) of RI, while the other, Airlang­ga Hartarto, was appointed as the Co­ordinating Minister of Economy. The Munas, which will be properly held next month, is now being prepared by the Plenary Meeting held on Tuesday (05/11/2019) night at the Office of the Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat – “DPP”) of Golkar Par­ty in Slipi, West Jakarta.

Golkar’s Incumbent General Chairman Airlangga Hartarto presid­ed over a friendly Plenary Meeting. All attending Golkar cadres were given the chance to speak out in the meet­ing. The Plenary Meeting was held for about two hours, from 19.51 WIB to 21.35 WIB. It decided that the Nation­al Leadership Meeting (Rapat Pimpinan Nasional – “Rapimnas”) will be held on 14-15 November 2019, while the Munas will be held on 4-6 December 2019. Golkar Party’s Primary Deputy Coordinator Bambang Soesatyo did not attend the Plenary Meeting.

Primary Deputy Coordinator Bam­soet later on reiterated that he is un­able to refuse the insistence of cadres in the regions who wish him to present himself in the candidacy for General Chairmanship, and not for personal interest.

“This is not about Bamsoet person­ally. This is about the wider interest of the Golkar Party. I cannot refuse the insistence of the regions who are hungry for change, who want the Party to be managed properly according to the Articles of Association and Memo­randum of Association, to return to its greatness as the fighter for and protec­tor of the people’s prosperity,” he said.

Bamsoet further stated that he wel­comes Airlangga Hartarto if the latter wishes to put himself up as General Chairman Candidate, that Airlangga is not the only person who has the right to submit themselves for the candida­cy. “Mr. Airlangga or any other Golkar Party cadres who satisfy requirements for the position of Golkar Party General Chairman is welcome to submit them­selves for candidacy; I support them by not standing in their way. What is most important is that we prioritize fair play and being a gentleman,” he said.

Bamsoet stated that he has not yet decided whether or not he will put himself up for candidacy, but he will make his announcement on the issue soon. “I still have not decided whether I will put myself up for candidacy or not, because we have not even decid­ed when Golkar Party’s Munas will be held. I will make the announcement whether I will apply for candidacy or not at a later date,” he said.

Golkar cadre Nusron Wahid cor­roborated Bamsoet’s statement that he has the mandate of regional cadres for his candidacy. Nusron stated that Bamsoet would not deny this man­date: “Mr. Bamsoet only discharged the mandate given to him by the Re­gional Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Daerah – “DPD”) 1 and DPD 2 to go forth. Mr. Bamsoet as a cadre cannot possibly deny and betray the insistence and mandate from the low­er-level candidates,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lingkaran Survei In­donesia (LSI)’s Director Djayadi Han­an stated that Airlangga Hartarto’s chance to be re-elected as Golkar’s General Chairman is very strong, that he has great advantage over his oppo­nent. Furthermore, Airlangga’s current position as the Coordinating Minister of the Economy gives him even more advantage, as Djayadi interpreted it to be a blessing from President Joko Widodo. “The ministerial position is Jokowi’s blessing. Or at least, I believe that is how the management of Gol­kar in general will interpret it – that Mr. Airlangga is the person considered to be a better fit for Golkar’s General Chairmanship,” he said.

Djayadi further notes the support of the Trikarya community of Airlangga is a further source of strength. Fur­thermore, support also came from a number of DPD 2 in several regions. The Head of DPP Golkar’s Committee for the Mobilization of Opinion and Me­dia, Ace Hasan Syadzily, admitted this support: “We are optimistic that Mr. Airlangga will win the General Chair­man Elections in December 2019. We have recorded at least 92% of our vot­ing cadres stating that they support Airlangga,” he said in the Parliamen­tary Complex.

Djayadi predicts that Airlangga will finally be unanimously named General Chairman again, but in view of current development that Bambang Soesatyo is named the challenger, the Munas will be hot with much debate. “I suspect that there are already internal agree­ments in place between Mr. Bambang Soesatyo’s Faction and Mr. Airlangga Hartarto’s Faction,” he said (Dan)