Indonesia: Ruling coalition unimpressed by Gerindra’s proposal

  • Political parties in President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s coalition have expressed their disinterest in the Gerindra Party’s request to take charge of the food and energy sectors as a condition for joining the government.
  • The parties have said that they already had their own plans for food and energy security, which appear to be different to the programs Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto unveiled during the presidential campaign period.
  • Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) secretary-general Hasto Kristiyanto revealed that the president and his allies had already discussed their ideas, saying that they had agreed to maintain their initial plans.
  • The coalition, therefore, expects that any other party wishing to join the coalition will not offer new ideas or concepts that would clash with Jokowi’s programs.
  • Gerindra politicians said on 19 Jul 19 after a meeting between Prabowo and members of the party’s advisory board in Hambalang, West Java, that its chairman would raise his ideas for food and energy security at a meeting with Jokowi and PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri, and would only move forward with joining the government if their proposals were accepted.
  • Senior PDI-P figure Effendi Simbolon said on 20 Jul 19 that it would be better for the ruling coalition if Gerindra remained outside the government, in light of the policy differences between Jokowi and Prabowo.
  • He added that having Gerindra in the government could cause confusion among the public as Gerindra had never shown any intention to join Jokowi’s coalition since the 2014 presidential election.
  • The NasDem Party, meanwhile, has described Gerindra’s demand as nonsense, saying that it was the ruling coalition that should be setting conditions.
  • National Awakening Party (PKB) deputy secretary-general Maman Imanulhaq pointed out that Gerindra had asked too much, saying that the MRT meeting did not have to lead to the two figures “riding the same carriage”.

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