Political party regional head candidacy

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Emrus Sihombing. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

Observer: Minimum membership duration necessary to prevent submission of “out of the blue” cadres 

IO, Jakarta – Politika Research and Consulting (“PRC”) suggests that the House of Representatives (“DPR”) to formulate a policy or law that requires all regional head candidates supported by a political party must first be members of the relevant party for some time. All these years, there has been no such ruling. 

PRC’s Director of Research Dudi Iskandar stated that the point is one of the results of PRC’s studies on how to strengthen political parties. Other methods to help strengthening parties include recruiting quality cadres, solidifying cadre training, proper distribution of cadres, and improvement of internal Party management. “PRC believes that regional head candidates must first be proper cadres of political parties because political party’s powers are divided into both the legislative and the executive. Therefore, no regional head is unaffiliated with a political party unless they go the independent route,” he stated in his press statement on Sunday (05/01/2020). 

Dudi mentioned some incumbent examples: “Anies Baswedan, Ridwan Kamil, and Khofifah Indra Parawansa are not political cadres. Therefore, they do not have full support from political parties. Quite a few of their policies are not supported by the party that put them up as candidates in the first place,” he said. “When regional head candidates who are cadres get elected, they will implement their party’s political vision and missions.” 

Emrus Sihombing, Pelita Harapan University’s political observer, stated that ideally, this ruling must be added with the proviso of a minimum of five-year membership in the party. This will hopefully prevent the supported cadres from being random people picked out of the blue, but are ones who fully know and support the Party’s ideology instead. This will ensure that the Party’s vision, missions, and aspirations are achieved. “This tendency to support outside candidates indicate that parties fail to recruit and educate their cadres in general. Political education to the masses is far from being sufficient, making it hard for parties to submit capable cadres of their own,” he said in Jakarta. 

This minimum membership duration requirement would prevent “out of the blue” cadres who only have money but lack understanding of the Party’s ideology. The Law should also regulate the existence of independent or non-party channel for participation in Regional Elections candidacy. “I actually support the idea, but the regulation is insufficient. If you are not a party member, might as well go independent. It makes no difference after all,” he said. (dan)