Rumors of coalition strife dispelled after Mega-Jokowi attend Nasdem Congress

National Democratic (“Nasdem”) Party Congress II held at JI Expo Kemayoran, Monday (10/11/ 2019). (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – There is something interesting about the guests who came to visit the National Democratic (“Nasdem”) Party Congress II at JI Expo Kemayoran, Monday (10/11/2019). The Congress was held simultaneously with the celebration of Nasdem’s 8th Anniversary. Other than President Joko Widodo and Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, also present was the General Chairwoman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “PDIP”), Megawati Soekarnoputri.

Mega attended the event with the Chairwoman of PDIP’s Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat – “DPP”), who is also DPR Speaker Puan Maharani. Also present was former Vice President Jusuf Kalla and the general chairmen of several political parties: General Chairman of the National Mandate Party (Partai Amanat National – “PAN”) Zulkifli Hasan, General Chairman of the National Awakening Party (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa – “PKB”) Muhaimin Iskandar, General Chairman of Functional Group (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) Party Airlangga Hartarto, General Chairman of Indonesian Solidarity Party (Partai Solidaritas Indonesia – “PSI”) Grace Natalie, General Secretary of the Crescent Star Party (Partai Bulan Bintang – “PBB”) Afriansyah Ferry Noor, Vice General Chairman of Democrat Party Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, and Vice Chairman of the Prosperous Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera – “PKS”)’s Majelis Syuro (Consultative Council) Hidayat Nur Wahid. Hosting the event was the Party Chairman Surya Paloh and other elites of the Nasdem Party. 

This is a good omen. As we all know, during the inauguration of the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”)’ members in early October this year, Megawati shook hands with several political figures, but looked away as she passed by Surya Paloh. This surprising incident was recorded on video and went viral after being broadcast on national television and passed around social media. Paloh denied that there is any rift between himself and Mega by stating in his speech that he loves her. “Here is the case, we love the great people of this nation. We love Jokowi, we love Ma’ruf Amin, we love Mr. Jusuf Kalla. and let there be no more doubt how much I still love Ms. Mega. This is very important to note, because when Ms. Mega failed to greet me, I simply broke down and did harm to Indonesia,” he said. “I even went so far as to send intelligence officers to investigate whether or not she deliberately ignored me. It turned out that she didn’t.” 

After expressing his love for Megawati, Paloh had a hug from President Jokowi. The latter has made the statement that he was jealous when Paloh tightly embraced PKS’ President Sohibul Iman recently. President Jokowi further stated that he is grateful that Nasdem has been supporting him from the 2014 Presidential Elections, and that the hug does not mean that Nasdem is now establishing a coalition with PKS, which is an opposition party. However, Jokowi admitted that “My unpleasant reaction about the hug between Brother Surya and Mr. Sohibul Iman was a matter of jealousy. I really was only jealous because he never hugged me so hard. Therefore, now I am going to hug Brother Surya even tighter than when he held Sohibul Iman,” Jokowi said to the concerted cheers of the Nasdem cadres present at the event. 

Jokowi stated that there was nothing wrong with the embrace between Surya and Sohibul. In fact, he believes that the moment was positive for the nation. “What’s wrong with hugging? It is very good. Once again, everything must be traced back to the intent. If the intent is to maintain one’s commitment to the Nation, what is wrong with it?” he said. 

On the other hand, Paloh reiterates that he wants to open up communication forums for parties outside of the Government. “This Party also strengthens its resolve, in that we need to constantly strive to open up space for communication and consolidation with all exponents and elements of society without differentiating those who are within and outside the Government,” he said. 

Congress II of Nasdem, held on 8-11 November 2019 decided to re-elect Surya Paloh as General Nasdem Chairman for the 2019-2024 term. The primary consideration for this re-election is that Paloh was the primary drive behind Nasdem’s two consecutive successes in the Presidential Elections. “With the permission of the participants of the Congress II of Nasdem Party, I have announced the names of the DPP Chairmen. Therefore, as a member of the Administration, with your permission I shall inaugurate myself and all these leaders. Do you approve?” Paloh stated from the Congress’ stand. “Yes!” the Congress participants responded. 

Surya Paloh is assisted by Vice General Chairman Ahmad M. Ali and re-elected General Secretary Johnny G. Plate, who is now the Minister of Communication and Informatics in Jokowi’s Cabinet. Meanwhile, the Paloh heir Prananda Surya Paloh is appointed as Coordinating Chairman for the Winning of the Election. Surya stated that Prananda has his work cut out for him, because the Party has set the target of winning the 2024 Elections after having earned fourth place in the 2019 Elections. (Dan)