Friday, July 10, 2009

Golkar chairmanship race intensifies

Hours after quick counts shown Jusuf Kalla, chairman of Golkar Party, lost the presidential race, various groups have intensified maneuvers to accelerate the party's convention to elect new chairman. 
Today, Ridwan Bae, head of South East Sulawesi chapter of Golkar Party, claimed Aburizal Bakrie has secured support from 500 regency and provincial level leaders of the party to be the new chairman.
Bae predicted Surya Paloh, chairman of advisory board of Golkar Party, will be Bakrie's main competitor in the race. But he believes Bakrie will get additional support from Agung Laksono (currently deputy chairman) and Akbar Tandjung (former chairman). According to Bae, Tandjung will be the new chairman of advisory board, while Laksono might be the new secretary general.
Bae claimed significant support for Bakrie has nothing to do with "money politic". Really? Well Fahmi Idris, head of Kalla-Wiranto's campaign team, believes those local chapter leaders approached the potential candidates because of "money". He didn't mention names, but people know what he really means.
Kalla expects his successor will be from young generation. Kalla insisted that the party doesn't need an accelerated convention (ahead of the normal schedule in December). Idris echoed Kalla's suggestion to let young generation leads Golkar. (Notes: Bakrie is 63, while Paloh 58) Unfortunately it's not clear what age is considered "too old" to be a chairman of Golkar.
But looks like, some leaders wanted such acceleration. Fadel Muhammad, for example, suggests an accelerated convention. But others, like Syamsul Ma'arif said Kalla's performance in the election can't be used to justify an extraordinary convention.
Theo Sambuaga, another Golkar leader, believes there will be no extraordinary convention. But looks like some Golkar leaders have been trying to bring back the party to a coalition led by president SBY's Demokrat Party and be part of the next ruling administration, as usual. Other leaders, including Yogyakarta Sultan, suggests Golkar to become an opposition party. But looks like that's not a favorable option. 

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