President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's plan to form a supermajority in the House of representatives for his second term has met with internal resistance after the National Democratic Party (NasDem) voiced opposition to the National Mandate Party (PAN) joining the winning coalition. (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak A)

NasDem Does Not Want PAN in Jokowi's Coalition

BY : MARKUS JUNIANTO SIHALOHO & ROBERTUS WARDI

JULY 01, 2019

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's plan to form a supermajority in the House of Representatives for his second term has met with internal resistance after the National Democratic Party (NasDem) voiced opposition to the National Mandate Party (PAN) joining the winning coalition.  

"When PAN joined, in my opinion, it was a half measure. We cannot count on them as a friend but we also cannot count on them as an opponent either," NasDem politician M. Taufiqqulhadi said on Monday. 

Jokowi's rival, Prabowo Subianto, disbanded his coalition of parties, which included PAN, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Democratic Party and his Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) last week after the Constitutional Court rejected his plea for the overturning of the election result. 

So far, only the PKS has indicated its commitment to remain in the opposition. Gerindra is still ambiguous about Jokowi's offer for it to join the ruling coalition, while top executives of the Democratic Party and PAN have been meeting with Jokowi since April, after quick-count results showed that he had won.

Taufiqqulhadi said PAN's track record on supporting the current government was suspect. 

The party did join Jokowi's governing coalition between 2014 and 2019 period, despite being in the opposition in the previous election. PAN member Asman Abnur also became a minister in Jokowi's cabinet. However, Asman resigned from his post when his party decided to oppose Jokowi's bid for re-election.

On the other hand, Golkar and the United Development Party (PPP), which joined the ruling coalition at the same time as PAN, did stick with the Jokowi-Ma'ruf Amin presidential ticket, which Taufiqqulhadi said, showed their "sincerity."

NasDem maintains that it would be better if PAN and Prabowo's other coalition partners remain outside the government and act as respectable opposition to the government.

"If all of them join, then later we could be viewed as returning to the New Order, which I think is not good for Indonesia," Taufiqqulhadi said, referring to the time under Suharto's military dictatorship, when the House of Representatives totally submitted to the president. 

Democrats Take Time to Decide

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party meanwhile said it would only determine its political stance after July 10, which marks 40 days since the passing of Ani Yudhoyono, the former president's wife and co-founder of the party. 

Democratic Party secretary general Hinca Panjaitan said the party's decision on joining the Jokowi coalition may rest on how well the president could accommodate the party's 14 priority programs, which include, among others, increased subsidies for the poor, ensuring free speech and an independent press, curbing hate speech and identity politics, lowering the debt levels of state-owned enterprises and tax cuts for businesses. 

"We would be happy if the elected president wants to implement these 14 priority programs. If that is considered, good, let's talk about it," Hinca said.

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