Muhammad Muhyiddin, Jakarta – The walkout by 129 members of the Democratic Party faction just prior to the House of Representatives (DPR) vote on the Draft Law on Regional Elections (RUU Pilkada), which abolished the direct election of regional heads, appears to have been a political maneuver or game.
“The Democrat Party followed a game plan formulated by the Red and White Coalition”, said United Development Party (PPP) Secretary General Pembangunan Muhammad Romahurmuziy when speaking with journalists during a PPP plenary meeting in Jakarta on September 26.
According to Romahurmuziy, the Democrats were playing a cunning political gimmick or maneuver so that they would not loose public sympathy.
In accordance with a design already agreed to within the Red and White Coalition of political parties that supported the Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa ticket in the July 9 presidential election, the Democrat Party faction would walkout in the early hours of Friday morning just before the vote. “This is in accordance with a Democrat Party pledge right from the beginning”, he said.
By that time, the DPR members were already exhausted because the session had dragged on since the Thursday afternoon, September 25. The session had also been adjourned several times because of a failure to reach a point of agreement.
Romahurmuziy explained that it could well be that the Democrat Party faction had already planned the walkout for Thursday September 25 at 7pm. Because however there was a plot or political game in play, the walkout by the party established by former general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was delayed until the early hours of Friday morning.
Romahurmuziy predicts that in five years time, the Red and White Coalition will maneuver to besiege the coalition of political parties in the DPR that back president Joko Widodo and vice-president Jusuf Kalla. “Perhaps if it is linked to religious issues, the PPP will do what the Democrat Party did this time round”, he said.
Democrat Party chairperson Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has said that he will investigate the mastermind behind the walkout by Democrat Party members in the DPR. “This is [just] a maneuver, a component to complement the plot”, said Romahurmuziy.
Romahurmuziy declined to say what kind of political agreement had been made behind the Democrat’s position. Reports have been circulating that the Red and White Coalition will support Nurhayati Assegaf becoming the speaker of the DPR for the 2014-2019 period. Assegaf is the chairperson of the Democrat Party faction in the parliament who instructed Democrat members to walkout just before the vote on the RUU Pilkada.
Romahurmuziy invited journalists to ask the Democrat Party leadership about the reports, although he declined to confirm or deny their validity. “In politics there is never any verification, what exists is only reality”, said the PPP politician who was a member of the Prabowo-Hatta presidential campaign team in July.
[Translated by James Balowski.]