Editorial: Golkar May Dig Itself Into an Early Grave
This could be the end of Golkar, Indonesia’s oldest and most influential party, as we know it. For half a century, especially during the 32 years of the New Order regime, the party has dominated the nation’s political arena. From the administrations of former presidents Suharto and B.J. Habibie to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Golkar has dictated the government.
However, the ongoing dispute between supporters of Aburizal Bakrie and Agung Laksono’s camp over the party’s chairmanship has practically paralyzed the political institution, distracting its politicians from the fast-approaching regional election for governors, mayors and district heads across the country.
Should Golkar fail to resolve the internal squabble and settle on a legitimate chief, potential candidates would have no choice but to use other parties as their political vehicle for the race. As a result, the once unbeatable party would end up with no influence on the regional level.
Meanwhile, the younger generation of capable and honest politicians has grown tired of the relentless bickering between the old guard — to the point that many have even chosen to abandon Golkar.
Constituents who voted for the yellow banyan tree have equally become fed up with the party’s narrow-minded brand of leadership.
All of these factors play a large role in destroying the public’s already tenuous trust in Golkar and may cost it a significant amount of votes in the 2019 elections. However, we still believe that if any political party of Indonesia has the potential to grow into a successful, modern party, it is Golkar.
We hope the party can tap into its experience while also embracing the new generation of leaders to help clean up a corrupt political system and propel the country toward a more mature democracy.
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Source: The Jakarta Globe