Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Conflict brews within Golkar as many want Airlangga Hartarto to be replaced

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Imanuddin Razak




The Vice Chairman of the Golkar Party, Bambang Soesatyo, also known as Bamsoet, refutes the notion that his party is currently in turmoil following calls for the removal of Chairman Airlangga Hartarto. He asserts that the party’s condition is currently stable and well.

The demand for a Golkar Party Special Congress (Munaslub) surfaced from Ridwan Hisjam, a member of the Golkar Party’s Council of Advisors.

He stated that party elders have urged for Airlangga’s replacement due to his stagnant electability ahead of the 2024 Presidential Election, despite Airlangga having been granted the mandate to become a presidential or vice-presidential candidate.

Apart from the Council of Advisors, the call for Airlangga’s replacement has also arisen from three founding organizations of the Golkar Party, namely Kosgoro 1957, Musyawarah Kekeluargaan Gotong Royong (MKGR), and Sentral Organisasi Karyawan Swadiri Indonesia (SOKSI).

Hisjam mentioned several potential candidates considered to replace Airlangga, including the Chairman of the Golkar Party’s Advisory Board, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the Vice Chairman of the Golkar Party, Bamsoet, and the Minister of Investment and Head of the Investment Coordinating Board, Bahlil Lahadalia.

Notions to replace Airlangga

Politician from the Golkar party, Yorrys Raweyai, stated that during his discussion about the party’s affairs with Minister Luhut, several issues currently faced by Golkar were brought up. Additionally, they also talked about the possibility of replacing Golkar’s Chairman, Airlangga Hartarto.

“Pak Luhut has observed various problems within Golkar since Airlangga took leadership in 2017,” said Yorrys, as quoted by Tempo.

As an example, Yorrys mentioned that during the 2019 General Elections, Golkar’s seat share in the People’s Representative Council decreased by 6 seats, bringing it to a total of 85 seats. The number of regional leaders associated with the party also declined.

Yorrys revealed that during the meeting, Luhut Pandjaitan provided several specific directions regarding Golkar, including the discourse on replacing the current Chairman, Airlangga Hartarto. “Pak Luhut requested Airlangga to be replaced,” Yorrys stated.

Luhut responds

Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, responded to questions about his potential candidacy for the Golkar Party Chairmanship. He stated that he is willing to become the Chairman if he receives significant support from Golkar Party members.

Luhut commented positively on Airlangga Hartarto’s current leadership as the Chairman of the Golkar Party, stating that it has been satisfactory.

He expressed no issues with Airlangga and left the internal dynamics of the Golkar Party to follow its own mechanisms.

Unstable Airlangga’s leadership

Amidst this leadership turmoil within the Golkar Party, Airlangga Hartarto’s position has come under scrutiny from various parties within the party.

The controversy began with leaked information about the Golkar Party’s Council of Advisors’ decision to evaluate Airlangga’s leadership. One of the considerations was Airlangga’s low electability despite being nominated as the Golkar Party’s presidential candidate.

Additionally, discussions about taking over the chairman’s seat also involved cases associated with the Minister of Economic Affairs.

On July 18, Airlangga was summoned by the Attorney General’s Office as a witness in a corruption case related to the provision of facilities for the export of crude palm oil and its derivatives. However, Airlangga did not comply to the summon.

Imanuddin Razak






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