Jakarta. Former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, better known as SBY, has thrown allegations that there is an ongoing plot to keep his political party from nominating a candidate for the 2024 presidential election and vowed to turn up again at the political stage to address the issue.
The founder of the Democratic Party said, without offering any evidence, that the upcoming presidential election will be arranged in such a way that only two presidential candidates will participate.
"Reportedly the presidential election will be rigged by those who want only two pairs of presidential candidate and running mate of their choosing," SBY said in a video posted on the TikTok account of the party’s North Sumatra chapter.
It seems the video was recorded during the national gathering of the party in Jakarta that ran on Thursday and Friday.
"My fellows, why should I show up again ahead of the 2024 general election? I heard and learned of indications that the 2024 election could be dishonest and unfair," he said.
"According to information, the Democrats as an opposition should never wish of nominating its own candidates for the president and the vice president, even with coalition partners. It’s evil, isn’t it?”
He said no individual or organization is allowed to drive the election according to their vested interests because the election is the will of the people.
"And remember that during our double terms in the government we have had two general elections including presidential elections and the Democrats have never committed to such an evil,” claimed SBY, who ruled the country from 2004-2014.
Despite his baseless allegations, his party’s poor performance in the last poll means that it cannot nominate a presidential candidate on its own.
The Democratic Party has 9.39 percent of House of Representatives seats, far below the threshold of 20 percent to guarantee the right to nominate a presidential candidate.
Its closest ally, the Muslim-based Social Justice Party (PKS) which is also considered an opposition to the government, only owns 8.7 percent of seats in the lower chamber of the national legislature.
It’s very unlikely that the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) will agree to team up with the Democrats given their long history of bitter rivalries and feuds. Moreover, the PDI-P is the only party that doesn’t need to establish a coalition to nominate a candidate as they control 22 percent of House seats.
With five other parties already establishing coalitions, Democrat’s only hope for an effective coalition is the National Democrat Party (Nasdem) -- to set up a three-member coalition together with the PKS.
SBY has made no secret of his ambition that one day his son will follow his steps as the country's leader.
However, political opponents have accused SBY of building a political dynasty inside his party.
The former president chairs the party’s Supreme Council, his oldest son Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono is the current chairman, while his second son Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono is the Democratic Party leader in the House of Representatives.
The General Election Commission, or KPU, responded to SBY’s allegations on Sunday by saying that the ongoing preparations for the election remain just and fair.
“The KPU invites all voters, shareholders, civil communities, activists, and the public in Indonesia to actively participate in every stage of the run-up to the election to ensure that the fundamentals and principles of the election are upheld,” KPU Commissioner Idham Holik told reporters in Jakarta.
He also called on any political party to help supervise the whole process and submit evidence of fraud to the election oversight body or Bawaslu, which has branches in all 34 provinces.