Unable to contest elections, Tommy Suharto's former party members join PSI

Kompas.com – April 7, 2023
Badaruddin Andi Picunang at official opening of new PSI office in Tebet – April 7, 2023 (Kompas)

Adhyasta Dirgantara, Jakarta – Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) Advisory Board Chairperson Badaruddin Andi Picunang says that his party has "acquired" the Berkarya Party (Working Party) regional leadership board (DPW) offices in Jakarta.

The former Berkarya offices were taken over by the PSI because the majority of Berkarya members have left and joined the PSI after the Berkarya Party failed to qualify to take part in the 2024 elections.

The offices, which are located in the South Jakarta suburb of Tebet, have now become the office of the PSI national advisory board secretariat.

"We are now using the Jakarta Berkarya DPW offices. Because Berkarya didn't pass, right. The majority of its leadership and members have joined the PSI", said Picunang at the official opening of the new PSI offices in Tebet on Friday April 7.

"Right now, we are using the existing assets. This will also be followed by our friends in the regions, in 34 provinces plus the four new provinces [in Papua], the secretariats that aren’t being used, we'll use them to secure a win for the PSI", he added.

The PSI Advisory Board Secretary Raja Juli Antoni, who is also the Deputy Minister for Agrarian Affairs and Special Planning, also attended the official opening.

Antoni said that the secretariat will become an office for the PSI to fight to win in the 2024 elections.

"This is very important, because these are the Berkarya Party's former offices. This is also at the same time symbolic, Berkarya friends who indeed are no longer able to take part in the elections can come in, will join in fighting for the good values that have been fought for by the PSI", explained Antoni.

Antoni then tried to connect the Berkarya Party and the PSI with the phrase "Working in Solidarity for Indonesia".

He said he hopes that the official opening of the offices will bring good fortune and victory to the PSI in 2024. "Hopefully this will be a blessing and the PSI will win in the 2024 elections", he said.


The PSI, which has been a staunch supporter of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo since its formation in 2014, bills itself as a "reformist" party that has tried to garner support from the so-call "millennial" generation of young Indonesian voters.

The Berkarya Party was formed in 2016 to channel the political aspirations of former president Suharto's youngest son Tommy Suharto by "selling" the romance of Suharto's New Order regime. Tommy and the Suharto family lost control of the party in 2020 after the government recognised the leadership of breakaway faction headed by former Special Forces (Kopassus) commander and National Intelligence Agency (BIN) deputy Muchdi Purwopranjono, who in 2008 was tried but acquitted on charges of planning the assassination of renewed human rights defender Munir.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Partai Berkarya Tak Lolos Pemilu 2024, Kadernya Pindah ke PSI dan Kantornya 'Diakuisisi'".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2023/04/07/21051081/partai-berkarya-tak-lolos-pemilu-2024-kadernya-pindah-ke-psi-dan-kantornya