Political collusion could hold Jokowi’s programs hostage

October 1st, 2014 1 comment


“You go imagine, what would happen if all House leaderships, down to commission level, are secured by the Red and White coalition. Jokowi-Kalla’s programs can fail to get sustainability,” — Trimedya Pandjaitan of the PDI-P.

The latest political dramas at the House of Representatives have signaled President-Vice President elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo-Jusuf Kalla indication that intense politicking led by the Red and White coalition could hinder his pro-people programs from running smoothly.

The new lawmakers, who were inaugurated on Wednesday, consist of 52 percent of members of the Red and White coalition which had endorsed the losing presidential ticket Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa.

Jokowi-Kalla’s supporters only make up about 26 percent after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the chairman of the Democratic Party, announced that the party would play as “balancing role” after becoming a ruling party for 10 years.

In a scene Prabowo-Hatta camp claimed as their other “victory”, last Friday, the House passed the massively-criticized Regional Election bill in a protracted and noisy plenary meeting.

The new law regulates that governors, regents and mayors are indirectly elected via Regional Councils (DPRD), terminating the direct election system which had been implemented since 2005 and turned Indonesia into one of the world’s democracy champions.

The coalition’s previous “victory” includes the endorsement of much-criticized 2014 Legislative Bodies Law in July which technically could prevent parties that support Jokowi-Kalla from having any of the five House speaker posts.

In fact, the law could also let the Red and White coalition secure all chair and deputy chair positions of all of the House’s 16 internal bodies including 11 commissions and other bodies such as the budgetary committee, legislation body, and the honorary council.

Read more…

Dems’ axis turns Prabowo, Aburizal “restive”

April 24th, 2014 No comments


with Ina Parlina


The one with only 11 percent have the guts [to tout a presidential candidate]. We net only a slight 1 percent below [why shouldn’t we do the same]?


Despite its major loss in the April 9 legislative election, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party has made itself one key factor for the upcoming political configuration ahead the July 9 presidential race, significantly affecting the strategies of other presidential candidates.

Politicians of Democratic Party have continued to make signals that the suggestion to have another coalition led by the ruling party was nothing impossible and could materialize soon, even though the party only got around 10 percent of the vote, a huge loss from 20 percent in 2009.

Senior party member Jero Wacik, for example, made it clear on Tuesday that the party’s ongoing presidential convention would keep on its track to have its winner nominated as a presidential candidate.

The Energy and Mineral Resources minister, who is also the secretary of the party’s supreme assembly, brushed off analysts’ suggestions saying that it would be more realistic for the party to propose the convention’s winner as a running mate for other presidential candidates.

“This is our own convention; why should we make the winner as merely a bargaining chip to other parties?” said Jero.

He added that the party’s low vote in the legislative election should not prevent it from naming its own presidential candidate. “The one with only 11 percent have the guts [to tout a presidential candidate]. We net only a slight 1 percent below [why shouldn’t we do the same]?” Jero said, obviously referring to the Gerindra Party.

Some surveys named State-owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan as the most electable one among the convention’s 11 participants. But Yudhoyono’s in-law, Gen. (ret.) Pramono Edhie Wibowo, who also a contestant, was said to be more preferred by the First Family.

Reports said that, Yudhoyono, in his capacity as Democratic Party chairman, would gather with all of the party’s provincial leaders on Friday. Speculation rife that the gathering is aimed at discussing the “fourth axis” plan.

All the top three parties with most popular vote have made it certain that they would nominate their own presidential candidates. However, since none reached the minimum 25 percent threshold, they are ought to seek alliance with other parties to fill the deficit. Read more…

Election result pushes big parties to recalibrate coalition plan, compromise

April 10th, 2014 No comments


President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife check the lists of legislative candidates before casting the ballots at a polling station in Cikeas, West Java, April 9 2014. (Photo: Bagus BT. Saragih)


With the legislative votes are more evenly spread across most of the contesting political parties, any presidential candidates are now encountering a challenge on how to garner strong legislative supports for the next government; a concern that could lead to another five-year cartelistic politics.


In particular for the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which, despite topping the early count tally, got a little less than expected, partnering with parties which used to be considered less likely now becomes less unlikely.

PDI-P seemed to fail to capitalize the massive popularity of its presidential candidate, Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. With no much effect from the so-called “Jokowi Effect”, it only got around 19 to 20 percent of the vote, based on quick counts, far than its target of 27 percent.

Before the election, PDI-P might appear to be very unlikely to engage in a coalition with the Gerindra Party. Not only because each has been firm in naming its own presidential candidate; PDI-P with Jokowi and Gerindra with Prabowo Subianto; but also due to the “2009 Batu Tulis pact” row in which Gerindra has accused Megawati of breaking the promise to support Prabowo’s presidential bid.

Now, politicians of both parties were making gestures that their coalition possibility had not reached a dead end.

“Of course we want to build a coalition that covers significant percentage of House of Representatives seats,” PDI-P deputy secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto said on Thursday. “But we don’t want a coalition with so many parties like the one the government has today which is very ineffective.”

The party’s other deputy secretary general, Ahmad Basarah, echoed but reiterated that PDI-P would not succumb to transactional politics. “Getting into a coalition is not merely about power distribution,” he said.

Forming a big coalition with less members would need partners with big legislative votes, he admitted. But he stopped short when asked if Gerindra had been also considered a potential partner. “We are maintaining communication with all parties.”

Read more…

Jokowi’s nomination narrows down maneuvers to presidency race

April 1st, 2014 No comments



Like an artificial bone thrown across a group of dogs, parties were quick to lose attention for the legislative election and its campaign season


If this year’s presidential race is like a war, then the words of ancient Chinese military philosopher Sun Tzu prevail: the victory in a battle is decided not on the battlefield, but in the preparation. And that crucial time has been already here, despite the ongoing legislative campaign euphoria, with politicians already extending their vision beyond the race for popular votes and aimed for power share in the government.

Before March 14, it was presumable that parties were gearing up to perform as best as they could during the campaign season for the legislative election which kicked off two days later. When it came to presidential race, all appeared homogenously with “let’s just focus on the legislative election first then we can talk about presidential candidates.”

It was logically non-debatable given the law requiring parties to reach at least 25 percent of popular votes or 20 percent of House of Representatives seats to be able to nominate a pair of presidential-vice presidential candidate.

How effective the 12 contesting political parties in wooing 185 million eligible voters for the April 9 legislative election would make up the strengths of their political machineries for the presidency battle. The electoral power resulted in the election will translate into bargaining power when it comes to political negotiation and forming alliances.

On March 14, like it or not, the game was changed. It was when the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’s (PDI-P) announced it had named the popular Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo its presidential candidate. Read more…

Angkot “kepresidenan” Jokowi

June 10th, 2011 3 comments


“Kami berhasil menegosiasi jadi US$ 58 juta dari US$ 62 juta,” kata Mensesneg Sudi Silalahi bangga, baru-baru ini. Itu untuk beli pesawat kepresidenan ala Air Force One-nya Barrack Obama.

Tidak se-wah punya Obama, memang, tapi tetap saja angkanya terlihat wah. US$ 58 juta kan hampir Rp. 500 miliar? Itu nyaris sama dengan APBD Kota Cimahi tahun 2011: Rp 575 miliar.

Jadi ingat Walikota Solo Joko Widodo. Jokowi panggilannya. Saya tahu dia baru-baru saja, dari acara televisi. Lantas saya dengar banyak hal positif tentang dia, jadi yakin dengan impresi sesaat saya waktu nonton TV.

Mobil dinas Jokowi jadul, lungsuran sejak 2002. Sering mogok. “Kalau mogok ya didorong sedikit juga hidup lagi,” kata Jokowi di TV.

Ada teman cerita. Suatu ketika, mogok mobilnya kambuh, dan Jokowi naik angkot supaya tidak terlambat.

“Kiri, Pak,” kata Jokowi pas angkotnya sudah di depan kantor walikota.

Sopir malah belok ke dalam kompleks kantor, meski sudah dicegah Jokowi.

Joko Widodo (sayangdibuang.wordpress.com)

Ya sudah, Pak Wali pun bayar. Pas sesuai tarif: Rp. 2.000.

Terang saja sopir salah tingkah dan menolaknya. “Sampeyan niki niat golek duwit ora?” kata Jokowi. Pak sopir pun tidak ada pilihan.

Itu baru satu cerita soal Jokowi yang bersahaja dan sederhana. Dia jadi kebanggaan warga Solo. Lebih 90% pemilihnya tentu tidak menyesal.

Katanya, Pak Jokowi yang pengusaha mebel ini juga selalu menghabiskan gajinya untuk nyangoni orang kecil.

Para pemilih Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono bagaimana ya?

Awam saya, tapi kan dia berulang kali gembar gembor soal penghematan?

Awam saya, apa sih urgensinya pesawat ala Air Force One?

Awam saya, bukankah Pak SBY justru akan mendapat respect saat tampil sederhana di negeri orang?

Tidakkah seharusnya kita bangga ketika Presiden naik flag carrier Garuda Indonesia untuk kunjungan kenegaraan, seperti warga Solo bangga dengan kesederhanaan Jokowi?

Bukankah lebih baik Rp 500 miliar itu untuk bangun 14,000 sekolah di pelosok negeri, daripada dikasi ke Boeing di Amerika sana?

Kemacetan Jakarta, turut disumbang dari para pemuja status yang bangga kalau rodanya 4 (walau bahan bakarnya bersubsidi). Tabiat begini ternyata juga dimiliki para pemimpin negeri.

Categories: News, Opinion Tags: , , , , ,

Politics hijack anti-corruption efforts

January 13th, 2011 No comments

“Corruption [in Indonesia] remains intertwined with politics, and there are brazen attacks on those fighting corruption.” –Former Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, now a World Bank managing director, in her speech at the 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Bangkok in November 2010.


Politics is stalling the country’s antigraft campaign, with the powers that be allegedly directly interfering with the legal processes of cases implicating high-profile figures.

The recent revelation by Constitutional Court chief justice Mahfud MD of an attempt to sway a verdict may be a “confirmation” that such “invisible hands” have indeed frequently interfered legal processes in the country.

Last week, Mahfud told an open forum he received a blackmail from somebody, threatening to charge one of the court’s justices with corruption if the court ruled that former Attorney General Hendarman Supandji was no longer legitimate in his position.

Thanks to the former lawmaker for not paying any heed to the mysterious persuader. The court eventually declared Hendarman was not a legitimate attorney general, prompting President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to dismiss him.

“It was a threat from a mafia, just before we issued the verdict,” Mahfud said, declining to disclose the blackmailer.

Mahfud was appreciate worthy for his effort to retain the court as one of the cleanest state bodies in Indonesia despite bribery and extortion currently alleged against two of the court’s justices.

But how about the leaders of other judicial institutions? Are they as “strong” as Mahfud? Read more…

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