Berkarya Party chairman Tommy Suharto. (Antara Photo)

Tommy Suharto's Berkarya Party Gears Up for Election, Wants 'Spirit of Change'


JULY 23, 2018

Jakarta. The Beringin Karya Party, commonly known as Berkarya, held training for its legislative candidates in Bogor, West Java, on Sunday (22/07), to prepare for next year's legislative election.

One of the party's co-founders and current chairman is Hutomo "Tommy" Mandala Putra, the youngest son of former President Suharto. His siblings also got aboard.

The former president's family and closest associates have often been dubbed as the Cendana Family (Keluarga Cendana), after the street where the Suhartos resided.

The family spun an intricate web of businesses during the former president's 32-year authoritarian rule, which ended in 1998. Many see the Berkarya Party as a Cendana attempt to return to power.

"The Berkarya Party is not a party trapped in nostalgia, as has been said by certain parties. The Berkarya Party exists precisely to bring the spirit of change, improvement for the nation and state," Tommy told the candidates.

The party has registered 575 legislative candidates in 80 regions, including Tommy, Siti Hediati "Titiek" Hariyadi — Suharto's second daughter and former wife of Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto, and Muhammad Ali Reza, son-in-law of  Suharto's first daughter Siti Hardiyanti "Tutut" Indra Rukmana.

Titiek was previously with the Golkar Party, which she left to support her brother.

Tommy expects the party to exceed the parliamentary threshold of 4 percent of the popular vote.

"We must say that it is unfitting for us to fight only for the minimal result, we are optimistic and we are confident that we will achieve victory and, God willing, exceed the threshold of 4 percent," he said.

Indonesia's simultaneous presidential and legislative election will be held on April.