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PDI-P Dilemma about Going into Opposition

Monday, June 3, 2024

The PDI-P is facing a dilemma between maintaining its access to the government and protecting democracy. Corrections are needed for the damage of the last 10 years.

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PDIP Dilemma about Going into Opposition. tempo : 172126899892.

THE Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) is still in doubt over what political direction to take after the presidential election. The party finds itself at a crossroads: join the Prabowo Subianto administration formed as a result of an election with many flaws, or follow the straight path of democracy.

This unease was apparent from the results of the party’s national meeting that ended on Sunday, May 26. Among these was a recommendation to party General Chair Megawati Sukarnoputri to “only form working relationships with pro-democracy parties.” At the same time, Megawati reminded attendees that “political parties have an interest in fighting for democracy.” However, she also said, “The essence of political powers is to achieve power, so they must be in government.”

The PDI-P’s unease reflects its dilemma between retaining access to resources in the government and its commitment to healthy democratic principles. Going into opposition will take the party further away from enjoying the resources available to the government. Conversely, joining the government will mean the PDI-P condoning the violations committed in the presidential election.

The party says that the general election on February 14 was the worst in history. There were a number of brazen violations, including of impartiality on the part of election organizers established by the administration of Joko Widodo. Three constitutional justices even expressed their objection to the court ruling that confirmed the victory of Prabowo and Gibran following the legal challenge by Anies Rasyid Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar and Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud Md.—something that had never happened before. Given this state of affairs, the PDI-P should not hesitate to remain outside the government, and put its own house in order.

The PDI-P has enjoyed the trappings of being in government since 2014. As well as being a supporter for two terms, the party supported a number of President Jokowi’s decisions, including those that harmed the people. Jokowi weakened the efforts to establish a clean government, particularly with the weakening of the Corruption Eradication Commission. Jokowi also failed to follow the proper procedure for producing laws, for example, in the drawing up of the Job Creation Law. Instead of exercising its oversight function, the PDI-P, the party with the highest number of seats in the House of Representatives (DPR), became the main sponsor of this damaging law.

The party was only stung into action after Jokowi expressed support for Prabowo, whose running mate was the President’s son, rather than its candidate, Ganjar Pranowo. Therefore, the party has a moral and political obligation to apologize to the people, and then make corrections. In her speech, Puan Maharani, the party leader and Megawati’s daughter, did make an apology, but this was because some of the party members had violated the constitution.

A position outside the government will give the PDI-P an opportunity to correct these mistakes. It will also be able to keep a close watch on the Prabowo-Gibran administration. Although the number went down, the party still has the highest number of seats in Senayan. Its strength in the DPR will prevent the new government from acting arbitrarily. Conversely, joining the government will only increase the possibility that the new administration will do just as it pleases.

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