Links: Straits Times(30.3.2013), Straits Times (31.3.2013), Jakarta Post (31.3.)
Partyforumseasia: The rescue operation for the somewhat “anorexic” Democratic Party by an extraordinary convention in Bali on 30 March 2013 has worked as planned.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), with acclamation ( not vote) of the delegates, has taken over the chairmanship after former chair Anas Urbaningrum had stepped down under corruption suspicion. Other candidates were being discussed, but only SBY himself was supposed to be elected without exposing the internal cleavages of the party in which Anas still enjoys major support among members and local leaders. SBY, after being elected, called for unity and cohesion, but critics say that the concentration of power is not healthy. The president who looked reluctant to take over and only under the condition that an executive chairman (to be appointed by SBY!!) does the day-to-day work, now chairs the party’s central executive committee and supreme assembly as well as the board of patrons, and his son Edhi Baskoro Yudhoyono is secretary-general.
As a sideline, the reports reveal a few details about the organizational structure of the Democratic Party: The chairpersons of the 33 provincial branches had prepared the convention by seeing the president beforehand in Jakarta “to pledge support for him”. The Bali convention assembled 754 party cadres with voting rights from provincial, district and city heads plus several other party elites. Interesting and allowing a glimpse into the internal cleavages was the exclusion from the Bali convention of former Cilacap district chairman Tri Dianto because he had no more voting rights. He happened to be one of the possible successors of Anas as new chairman…
Strategy-wise the exercise could unite the party in preparation of and until the 2014 elections, but, as it happens in medical practice, it could also turn out to be a successful emergency operation leaving the patient dying nevertheless. With SBY’s presidency definitively ending in 2014, the struggle for his succession is visibly on in the Democratic Party.
SBY names minister as Dems executive chairman
Bagus BT Saragih, The Jakarta Post, Nusa Dua | National | Sun, March 31 2013, 12:17 PM
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as the new Democratic Party chairman, has appointed Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Syariefuddin Hasan as the party’s executive chairman. “The executive chairman will be more active in dealing with the party’s organizational matters and its other day-to-day business,” Yudhoyono told a press conference in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Sunday. Yudhoyono also announced that House of Representatives speaker Marzuki Alie had been appointed to serve as the deputy chairman of the supreme assembly, the party’s highest organ. Transportation Minister EE Mangindaan has been named the executive chairman of the party’s board of patrons. Yudhoyono has asked for the creation of the three positions to ease his duties in the Democratic Party after he was appointed as the party’s chairman in an extra-ordinary congress in Sanur, Bali. Yudhoyono said he accepted the proposal to name him the party chairman as long as it would not hinder him from his main duties as a state leader.Currently, Yudhoyono also serves as the party’s supreme assembly chairman, honorary council chairman and chief patron. “The formatur (formation of new appointments) has begun and these three positions are part of the initial results. We will continue to work in Jakarta and announce the results in the days ahead,” Yudhoyono said. Both Mangindaan and Marzuki said they did not know what other positions Yudhoyono would reshuffle. A rumor was circulating that the party’s secretary general, Edhie “Ibas” Baskoro Yudhoyono, the President’s youngest son, would leave his position because he would study in the US. Marzuki said Ibas should stay in his position as secretary general. “He has capability and his work in the party has been good so far,” he said, adding that he did not know about the rumor of Ibas’ plan to study in the US. (ebf)
More appointments than elections and rumors, the price parties pay for strong leadership.