National Liberation Party of Unity to be formed

Kompas – July 24, 2006
National Awakening Party central leadership board chairperson Muhaimin Iskandar (Pos Kota)
National Awakening Party central leadership board chairperson Muhaimin Iskandar (Pos Kota)

Jakarta – In the mist criticism over the performance of the political parties, a number of elite parties have initiated a process of internal consolidation as well as using public forums – not just the parliament – to issue statements. A new political party is also started to emerge.

On Sunday July 23 in Jakarta, no less than three political parities held activities to mobilise their supporters. The general chairperson of the central leadership board of the National Awakening Party (PKB), Muhaimin Iskandar, called on all components of his party and other political parities to get rid of the tendency to politicise all kinds of issues and reform themselves by having a clearer commitment to the interests of broader society.

Iskandar conveyed this yesterday after presenting a political speech at a peak reception to commemorate eight years of the PKB on the grounds of the Jakarta Raya A Arena Pekan Hall in Kemayoran. Present at the reception were PKB party members and supporters from around the country and a number of pubic figures such as Laode Ida (deputy speaker of the Regional Representatives Council), AM Fatwa (deputy speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly), Agung Laksono (speaker of the House of Representatives), Erman Suparno (minister for labour and transmigration) and Jimly Asshidiqqie (the head of the Constitutional Court).

“Many government officials have yet to work all out when faced by crisis. They take it easy or go to and go back and forth from Jakarta as if they are busy doing something, but they are not. As a consequence distrust has surfaced among ordinary people, not just with regard to political parties but also the government”, said Iskandar.

Separately, the chair of the steering committee of the national collective leadership board of the Democratic Party of Renewal (PDP), Roy BB Janis, called on the political elite not to just criticise the performance of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s government, but also assist in seeking a solution in order that the nation does not continue to sink into crisis. “The political elite should become part of the solution, not become part of the national problem”, said Janis after inaugurating the Jakarta regional collective leadership board of PDP at the Proclamation Monument on Sunday.

The government’s weaknesses should not just be blamed on President Yudhoyono, but also on the vice president as well as the United Indonesian Cabinet and the coalition of political parties that support it. In order to overcome the nation’s various problems, the government must have the courage to make a breakthrough. The nation’s problems cannot be resolved by ordinary measures. “There is concern that the legitimacy of the government has declined, as has been found in number of surveys”, said Janis.

New political party

Sunday was also marked by the declaration by a number of politicians to form a new political party, the National Liberation Party of Unity or Papernas. The party’s aim is to defend the poor who are currently being confuted by the interests of capital and those in power, that is neoliberalism. A preparatory committee for the party was formed on Sunday July 23 headed by general chairperson Dominggus Oktavianus Tobu Kiik (the general chairperson of the Indonesian National Labour Front of Struggle, FNPBI) and chairperson of the Advisory Committee Dita Indah Sari (the general chairperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, PRD). The committee will work until the Papernas founding congress is held in November.

Thousands of workers and urban poor crowed into the National Library for the event that was also attended by political commentator Wimar Witoelar, cultural observer Mohamad Sobary and Ray Sahetapy. (Ant/SUT/DWA)

[Translated by James Balowski.]