Jakarta. Reaffirming its position outside the camp of President-elect Joko Widodo and his No. 2 Jusuf Kalla, the Democratic Party will not allow its senior members to become ministers in the new government, a top official said on Monday.
"If there is a Democratic Party leader who wants to be a minister, they must get permission from the chairman. And I'm sure the chairman [President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono] won't give this permission, because we are not part of the Jokowi-Kalla coalition," the party's acting chairman, Syarief Hasan, said on Monday.
Syarief, who is the minister for cooperatives and small and medium enterprises, stressed that the party would like to assume a balancing role in the House of Representatives during Joko's presidency.
He said that his party had already made its stance known to the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which won the legislative election and backed Joko's presidential bid.
"We communicate well with Puan Maharani [the PDI-P's executive board chief] and Tjahjo [Kumolo, the PDI-P's secretary general]," he said. "We communicate well with all party leaders."
Democratic Party deputy chairman Max Sopacua also said that the party founded by Yudhoyono would not be interested in joining the administration led by Joko and Kalla.
"The Democrats are not thirsty for power. We have been in the government for 10 years as the winning party," he said.
Max said Yudhoyono had received some text messages saying that his party should not intervene at Joko and Kalla's expense.
"The Democratic Party is offended if someone says that we will disturb Jokowi and JK," he said. "We have [only] decided that we will stand outside the government."
He also denied rumors that the Democrats would be willing to jump ship and join Joko and Kalla's coalition.
"That is misleading information," he said.
Yudhoyono said on Friday that his party would not join any coalition in the House. "The political party that I lead would be better off independent, and become a balancing power that is not included in Prabowo [Subianto]'s permanent coalition or Jokowi's coalition. That is the choice of my party," he was quoted as saying by news portal Sindonews.com.