No Reshuffle for Democrats, But a Pledge to Improve
Markus Junianto Sihaloho
West Java. The Democratic Party wound up its national coordination
meeting here on Sunday leaving its leadership unchanged in the wake of
recent troubles and embarrassments, but did pledge to abide by a
chastening 10-point charter to be clean and disciplined in the future.
The two-day meeting for 5,000 executives of the ruling party ended with no recommendation to restructure its leadership.
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the party’s key patron, did not close the
meeting as expected, but made an address behind closed doors before
party chairman Anas Urbaningrum officially closed it. Sources said the
president spoke about political ethics.
party commitment produced by the meeting was read during the closing
ceremony by the head of the steering committee, Johny Allen Marbun.
Democratic Party must strengthen its commitment to be a mainstream,
nationalistic, religious party, in support of the reform agenda and
tightly holding to clean, smart and polite politics,” Allen said.
commitment included a vow to concentrate on internal consolidation,
introspection, improving its regeneration program and its performance in
local elections and a better communication strategy with the people.
“The Democratic Party must tightly uphold discipline for the cadres and synergy between all cadres,” Allen said.
But the commitment made no mention of the claims against the party by its fugitive former treasurer, Muhammad Nazaruddin.
because a national coordination meeting is not mandated to issue
technical decisions, just recommendations,” Allen told the Jakarta
was dismissed as treasurer in May after allegations of involvement in a
bribery scandal linked to a Southeast Asian Games construction project.
He flew to Singapore and has since been in hiding. Anticorruption
officials declared him a graft suspect on May 30. From hiding,
Nazaruddin has accused a slew of Democrats, including Anas, of
involvement in bribe taking.
Closing the meeting, Anas urged unity and said the problems the party faced were there only to make it stronger.
must use this moment to build a more solid, intact and united political
party. We must be able to make improvements in our lives,” he said.
Syarief Hassan, a member of the party’s advisory board, said Yudhoyono was “not angry.” “The most important thing is that the president did give us guidance,” he said.
Sriyanto, secretary of the party’s Central Java chapter, was the only
executive who tried to push the meeting to discuss Nazaruddin’s
allegations, but the meeting’s leaders said that would go against party
Dani told journalists later that he and many others wanted Anas suspended until Nazaruddin’s accusations were addressed.
party’s deputy secretary general, Saan Mustopa, said, “We are
improving our solidarity at this meeting. … Why should we respond to
statements made by a fugitive?”