Surabaya. The Democratic Party wants to play an active role to help the administration of President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla succeed, chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said at the official opening of his party’s congress on Tuesday.
As part of this effort, Yudhoyono, who was succeeded by Joko last year, said the party was dedicated to making sure all of its regional-level executives — governors, district heads and mayors — fully support the central government.
The Democratic Party itself will also back any government initiatives that it considers to be good for the Indonesian people and it will make itself heard in case the government presents plans that it deems unjust, he added.
“This is part of the devotion and the responsibility of the Democratic Party in its support of the government,” the nation’s sixth president said. “The Democratic Party believes that the government can overcome any challenge that this nation is facing.”
Yudhoyono also said that the party would like to position itself as a balancing force.
“We’re neither part of the Awesome Indonesia Coalition [KIH], nor of the Red-White Coalition [KMP],” he said. “The Democratic Party is ready to be part of the solution.”
President’s point of view
Present at the opening of the congress, Joko called on the party to not forget its task: to prioritize the people’s aspirations.
“Political parties shouldn’t be too busy with themselves, without paying attention to the people’s mandate,” the president said in his opening speech.
Joko added that parties should not become stepping stones for those looking to fill strategic positions in government.
“To become an institution that is solid, sturdy, trusted and trustworthy — that is the challenge for political parties in the reform era,” the president said. “Every political party has to become a house of dialogue that can accommodate all the aspirations of its cadres. A house of hope that can accommodate the aspirations of the people.”
Megawati Soekarnoputri, chairwoman of Joko’s own Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), was unable to attend the conference, with a party spokesman explaining that her schedule didn’t allow for a trip to the capital of East Java.
Megawati has long had a strained relationship with Yudhoyono, who was a key minister during her presidency but then ran against her for the top job — and won.
Yudhoyono was selected by acclamation on Tuesday to lead the party for another five years. He had been the only candidate.
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