[Fwd: Megawati PDIP backs army candidate]

Green Left Parramatta glparramatta at SPAMgreenleft.org.au
Wed Sep 15 13:47:09 MDT 1999



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Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 12:25:49 +1000 (GMT+1000)
From: owner-asietnews-l at peg.apc.org
Subject: Megawati PDIP backs army candidate


PDI-P policy to back Edy, says councilor
Jakarta Post
Wednesday, September 15, 1999

JAKARTA (JP): A city councilor of the Indonesian Democratic Party of
Struggle
(PDI Perjuangan) disclosed on Tuesday that the party's decision to back the
Indonesian Military (TNI)/Police faction candidate for City Council speaker
was based on a "policy" of the party chairwoman, Megawati Soekarnoputri.
"I got a phone call from Ibu Megawati this morning (Tuesday) who told me
that
the decision was her policy," the party faction chairman, Tarmidi Suhardjo,
told reporters at City Hall.
Tarmidi, who is also a party candidate for City Council speaker, said he
could not hide his personal disappointment over the results which led to the
reappointment of Maj. Gen. Edy Waluyo as City Council speaker.
However, he added, he could fully understand his leader's decision as part
of
PDI Perjuangan's strategy to in return obtain one seat in the People's
Consultative Assembly (MPR).
Based on the vote counting results and composition of the faction's members,
the city chapter of PDI Perjuangan, which won the recent general election,
will take two of the five MPR seats available for Jakarta.
The remaining three seats will be held by the TNI/Police faction, the
National Mandate Party (PAN) and the United Development Party (PPP).
Unlike other factions, the TNI/Police faction did not join the poll.
The five figures to represent Jakarta in Senayan will be elected sometime
next week.
The new MPR members will choose the country's president in a General
Assembly
slated for November.
Tarmidi said that a few minutes before Monday's plenary session started, all
30 PDI Perjuangan councilors still agreed to pick him as City Council
speaker.
The one man, one vote election was participated by 84 councilors.
Councilors from PDI Perjuangan changed their mind when the party's city
chapter chairman, Roy B.B. Janis, who attended the session as a guest,
approached the councilors and asked them to vote for Edy Waluyo, Tarmidi
explained.
He said Roy was accompanied by the party's city chapter secretary, Maringan
Pangaribuan, who is also a city councilor, to carry out the task.
The results were 40 votes for Edy Waluyo, 30 votes for Djafar Badjeber of
PPP, nine votes for Tarmidi and no votes for M. Suwardi of PAN. Five votes
were invalid.
Half of the votes gained by Edy were from PDI Perjuangan legislators,
Tarmidi
said.
He said the party's strategy was also aimed at blocking the candidacy of
Djafar, who was from the "axis force" (Poros Tengah).
"You know that the axis force attempted to push Megawati out (as a
presidential candidate)," Tarmidi said.
Reaction, denial
Besides a strong direct protest from dozens of PDI Perjuangan supporters on
Monday, the party's controversial maneuver also stunned many politicians,
observers and even party supporters.
The party headquarters in Lenteng Agung, South Jakarta, was reportedly
stoned
by disappointed supporters on Monday night.
Several of the party's security forces flattened the tires of Roy's BMW
sedan
parked at the headquarters, Tarmidi said.
But a deputy chairman of the party, Mochtar Buchori, insisted that the move
was purely Roy's decision and had nothing to do with Ibu Megawati.
Buchori quoted sources at the city's party chapter as saying that "it was
Roy
who instructed the councilors to shift their vote to Edy".
He added that the party headquarters remained unclear of Roy's motives.
"During a meeting this morning, Megawati also condemned the move and she
asserted that she knew nothing about it," Buchori said.
When he was asked to comment, political observer Affan Gafar said:
"Something
is fishy here."
"It's impossible for any party to ignore the City Council speaker," he said.
Affan speculated on the significant role of the "old power" in Monday's
maneuver at Jakarta City Council, referring to the New Order regime.
"The public and all party supporters will take note of this case. The
implication might be seen in the next five years," he added.
Researcher Syamsudin Harris from Indonesia's Institute of Science (LIPI)
said
the incident indicated a sharp dissension among members in the party's
factions and chapters.
"By casting votes for a military representative, PDI Perjuangan councilors
obstructed the establishment of a civil society. They allowed the military
to
take the lead in the political arena, even though they know that the
military
is not democratic," he said.
City councilors from other factions smiled at the PDI Perjuangan strategy.
Another political observer, Nazaruddin Syamsudin, shared Harris' view.
"The conflict was based on the dissatisfaction of councilors over the party
candidate who was nominated by the party executives," he said. (asa/jun/bsr)









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