Jakarta. The central leadership board of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P, has congratulated retired general A.M. Hendropriyono on his appointment as chairman of the Indonesian Justice and Unity Party, or PKPI.
"Hendropriyono has a strong historical background in safeguard the Pancasila [state] ideology, 1945 Constitution, the Republic of Indonesia and its diversity. I have known Mr. Hendro as a mature leader and an excellent strategist who possesses a great network," PDI-P secretary general Hasto Kristiyanto said in Jakarta on Tuesday (30/08).
Hasto said Hendropriyono understands that political parties are important as democratic institutions to oversee political education, leadership building and political communication and to aggregate the interests of the public, as deliberated in the parties' political decisions.
"Mr. Hendro will push the PKPI to consolidate internally and actively take part in the main agenda of embodying a sovereign and independent Indonesia with its characteristics," Hasto said.
The PDI-P chairman added that Hendro's leadership model would involve more young people. Hendro, with his experience in intelligence, is considered an interesting figure in politics.
"The PDI-P hopes that the new PKPI leadership may cooperate well in strengthening democracy by improving its institutional strength," Hasto said.
The party expects Hendro's political position to improve the current partnerships established between supporting parties.
"Congratulations to Mr. Hendropriyono. The PKPI has been established by great figures moved by the spirit of proclamation," Hasto added.
The PKPI was founded by former leaders of the Golkar Party, who split from the party. Party leaders have mostly been retired military officers, including retired general Sutiyoso, the current intelligence chief, and Try Sutrisno, a former Indonesian vice president, who is also a retired army general.
Past Human Rights Abuses
However, Hendropriyono is alleged to have been involved in past human rights abuses, with survivors and families of victims of the military's many massacres and other rights abuses over the decades have long demanded that the masterminds be brought to justice.
Hendropriyono, as a former intelligence chief, has been linked to, but never charged with the 2004 murder of prominent human rights activist Munir Said Thalib.
The retired general who was allegedly involved in the military's massacre of 27 civilians in Talangsari in southern Sumatra in 1989, is close to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's political patron, former President Megawati Sukarnoputri. He also served as an adviser to the president-elect while he was preparing to take office last year.