PDI-P Squirms Over Cabinet Possibilities

Former President Megawati Soekarnoputri and her husband,
MPR chair Taufik Kiemas, may take opposing positions on
whether PDI-P members should accept cabinet posts
in the Yudhoyono administration.

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), still reeling from back-to-back poll defeats, appears likely to face a deeper split within its ranks as executives have come out with opposing stances on offers to sit in the next government. PDI-P Central Advisory Board chairman Taufik Kiemas on Wednesday said the party would take any cabinet positions it might be offered, but other party executives warned that his wife — party chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri — had the final decision and was unlikely to agree. Taufik Kiemas said the party, which was not part of the coalition that supported President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s re-election to a second term, was not actively seeking positions in the next government but would accept any offer. “The most important thing is that we’re not requesting positions, but [if] they’re offered … it’s a gift and we should not reject it,” he said, stressing that no offer had so far been made to the party. “It would be a different position if we were requesting,” he added. “So, if they offer only two [seat], we’ll take them.” Taufik, the newly appointed chairman of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), is known to favor taking the PDI-P closer to Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party. His wife has been vocal in keeping the party in the opposition, as was mandated at its last congress in 2004. PDI-P Secretary General Pramono Anung, speaking at a news conference after a meeting of the party’s leadership, warned that only Megawati could decide whether to accept any offer of cabinet seats. “PDI-P’s official stance over any offer to join the cabinet will be decided by Ibu Mega in the next four or five days,” he said. Megawati, who attended the leadership meeting, was not at the news conference and did not issue a statement. Pramono acknowledged that PDI-P and the Democratic Party had met to discuss a possible coalition. “But please note that we have never offered up any names to sit in Yudhoyono’s cabinet,” he said. Pramono’s deputy, Agnita Singedikane, said Megawati had reminded members that the 2004 congress agreed that the party would sit in the opposition. “Mega is a person who obeys the rules and will follow the congress decision to be in the opposition,” Agnita comment. She said that while the party had yet to make an official decision, any members accepting a cabinet seat in Yudhoyono’s next government should have their party membership suspended. Taufik said his wife had decided nothing. “As for those speaking on behalf of Ibu Mega — if it’s not coming directly from her or the party secretary general, then it’s not true,” he said. Megawati’s daughter, Puan Maharani, speaking at the same news conference, said her parents’ disagreement was just part of family dynamics. “As their daughter, and also as a cadre of PDI-P, the rumors are not true. We are always solid and have one voice.”

Recommended Posts :