The National Democrat Party on Monday announced it was aiming to lure a founding member of the Great Indonesia Movement Party to join it.
The Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) last week announced that Halida Hatta had resigned from it. The party said she wanted to concentrate on her business and leave politics altogether.
But National Democrat (NasDem) chairman Patrice Rio Capella said that Halida was still eager to enter politics and was considering joining the party.
“We have opened communications with [Halida],” Patrice said.
According to NasDem, Halida, the daughter of Indonesia’s first vice president and founding father Mohammad Hatta, had irreconcilable and ideological differences with Gerindra.
“Halida is a woman of principle just like Bung Hatta, who resigned as vice president because it [the government] no longer aligned with the principles to which he adhered,” Patrice said.
Halida was Gerindra’s lead candidate during the 2009 parliamentary election, but her bid failed. Halida’s relationship with Gerindra had reportedly worsened in subsequent years, a claim Gerindra denied.
“I can assure you that Halida’s resignation from Gerindra is not because of a split,” Gerindra secretary general Ahmad Muzani said.
“[Halida] resigned because her new working place does not allow its employees to be actively involved in a political party. Halida chose her profession, so that is why Halida gave up her position in Gerindra.”
Halida was among the first members of Gerindra, founded after former special forces commander Prabowo resigned from the Golkar Party in 2008. Halida later helped form Gerindra’s Great Indonesian Women (PIRA) wing.
“Actually we are hoping that Halida can stay with us because Halida has done so much [for Gerindra],” Muzani said.
Patrice said Halida had been a major asset for Gerindra, and would provide similar benefits for NasDem.
“[Halida] will share the visions NasDem is fighting for, promoting change in this country and not just seeking to maintain power,” he said.
NasDem was established last year by media mogul Surya Paloh after he lost his bid to chair Golkar to long-time rival Aburizal Bakrie.