PPP's Djan Proposes Putting Regional Elections Candidates Under Gerindra


JUNE 03, 2015

Jakarta. With no end in sight to its protracted internal rift, the United Development Party, or PPP, is considering registering its gubernatorial, district head and mayoral candidates under another party.

The Islamic-based PPP has been split into two camps since last October, between those loyal to M. Romahurmuziy and those behind Djan Faridz, with both claiming to be the rightful party chairman.

The General Elections Commission (KPU) mas made clear it will not register candidates for local elections from parties that have overlapping claims in their leadership, a problem the PPP shares with the Golkar Party.

Candidates must apply for the December regional elections before July 28.

But while disputing factions inside Golkar have agreed to a truce — at least temporarily — a reconciliation within the PPP remains elusive.

Djan said his camp was in talks with the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) and its chairman, Prabowo Subianto, about the prospect of having PPP candidates participate in the elections under Gerindra.

“Gerindra is prepared to form a coalition with the PPP,” Djan said on Tuesday as quoted by Detik.com.

“Today it is Gerindra, but if it is not enough, we can also form a similar coalition with the PAN [National Mandate Party] and the PDI-P [Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle]. We are open to all parties.”

Gerindra secretary general Ahmad Muzani said his party was still waiting for an official letter from Djan’s camp.

“Gerindra will support anyone with great leadership,” he said.

Experts, however, called the plan as a “desperate move” from Djan’s camp, a sentiment echoed by Djan’s rival Romahurmuziy.

The move “implies that [Djan] is losing confidence by seeking help [from another party],” Romahurmuziy told CNN Indonesia.

Political expert Muradi from Bandung’s Padjadjaran University said Djan might lose support from PPP voters “for selling out his own party.”

“The PPP is older than Gerindra,” he said as quoted by MetroTV. “This is a blunder. [Djan] is basically putting his candidates at the mercy of another party.”

Muradi added that the PPP had more experienced politicians who could win regional elections than Gerindra did, including several incumbents.

Yunarto Wijaya from the think tank Charta Politika said the plan would benefit Gerindra more than it would Djan's faction.

Gerindra “could exploit [the PPP’s] support base in the regions to widen its own base,” he said as quoted by CNN Indonesia.

Yunarto noted that although Gerindra was the third-largest party nationally, it has so far failed to get one of its own members elected as a governor, district head or mayor, because of its poor performance at the local level.

A coalition with the more experienced PPP could change that, he said.