Reconciliation Plan and Future of Jokowi’s Coalition

Writer: Ameidyo Daud

Editor: Safrezi Fitra

5/7/2019, 10.04 WIB

PAN, Democratic Party and Gerindra hinted at joining Jokowi’s coalition, while PKS remained as the opposition.

Joko Widodo dan Prabowo Subianto
ANTARA FOTO/PUSPA PERWITASARI
Prabowo Subianto and Joko Widodo.

Joko Widodo-Ma’ruf Amin’s victory and the disbandment of Adil Makmur Coalition made everyone wonder about the fate of Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno’s supporting parties and what they will do next. It is also a sign that the coalition member parties, including Gerindra, the National Mandate Party, the Democratic Party, and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), are now free to establish relations with anyone, including Jokowi-Ma'ruf camp.

After being declared the winner of the 2019 Presidential Election on Sunday (6/30), Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in his speech stated that he is open for everyone who want to work together in advancing and building the country. Nevertheless, he also claimed that he needed to speak with his supporting parties in the Indonesia Working Coalition (KIK) regarding the potential for additional parties to join. “I have to talk to them [KIK members],” Jokowi said.

The plan for political reconciliation then began to spread, followed by rumours that a number of parties had joined Jokowi camp. Political parties that show signs of joining are the Democratic Party and PAN. In fact, Gerindra through Deputy Chairman Arief Poyuono previously stated that the Jokowi-Ma’ruf coalition needed Gerindra in it, even though he is also aware the existence of the opposition is required so that the government would not go overboard.

PAN and Democratic Party have shown interest, but the two parties stated that they are in no hurry to decide whether to join the Jokowi’s coalition or not. According to the Democratic Party Deputy Chairman Syarief Hasan, it depends on supply and demand from the government coalition to his party. “If it’s good, suitable and promising, there will be supply [of support],” Syarief said.

Meanwhile, PAN Deputy Secretary General Faldo Maldini admitted that some of the party’s internal members had voiced their wishes to join the government coalition. Therefore, PAN will determine its future political stance during the National Working Meeting (Rakernas) in July. “We have to accommodate our members’ wishes from the executive level to each branch,” Faldo said.

The stance of the Jokowi camp also seemed to be divided in responding to the wishes of the opposing political parties to join Jokowi’s lifeboat. Earlier last month, PDI-P Deputy Secretary General Ahmad Basarah said his party had become accustomed to carrying out coalitions with several other parties, including the Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, Golkar General Chairman Airlangga Hartarto said the political party that wants to join need to equate their vision and mission with the parties in the coalition. “The commitment must be the same as the party that has joined first,” Airlangga said in mid-June, as quoted by Antara.

But the coalition’s objections also began to emerge. PD-I Secretary General P Hasto Kristiyanto said a healthy coalition must be formed before the presidential election. Meanwhile, the National Awakening Party (PKB) Chairman Muhaimin Iskandar said the Jokowi’s coalition currently reached 61 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives (DPR). The coalition will get fatter if its members increase. “Most importantly, do not reduce PKB’s seats,” he said.

Political Risks

According to observers, PAN and the Democratic Party are the two parties with the greatest chance of joining the Jokowi-Ma'ruf coalition. However, their entry will be determined by Jokowi’s strategy in running the government in the next five years.

Exposit Strategic Political Observer Arif Susanto said the Democratic Party is more profitable if Jokowi aims at short-term stability rather than PAN which has been considered inconsistent in supporting him in 2014-2019. Nonetheless, promoting Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY) would certainly be a risk for the internal coalition considering the 2024 Presidential Election is in sight.

“If Jokowi thinks about long-term stability, he might choose PAN because they don’t have strong figures,” Arif told Katadata.co.id on Tuesday (7/2).

Lingkar Survei Indonesia Researcher Rully Akbar said historically the two parties had never shown a clear opposition style, so they could be considered as having the chance to join the government coalition. Meanwhile, the choice of joining the government for PKS and Gerindra could lead to the loss of their voter base. “We could say that both of them are anti-Jokowi,” Rully said.

According to Arif and Rully, a coalition that is too fat in parliament endangers democracy and the solidity of the coalition itself. Arief even predicted that the stability of the Jokowi-Ma'ruf political coalition would only last two to three years because approaching 2024 each party would again be busy with their political manoeuvres. “It’s possible that polarization will occur again within and between coalitions,” he said.

Rully said that healthy government needs opposition that is also strong even though not all political parties are ready to become opposition. However, he believes that large parties are more capable of carrying out opposition roles as PDI-P did during the two periods of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s administration. “Except for new parties, I think other parties are ready,” he said.

 

Simulation of Coalition Votes from the 2019 Election Results with or without PAN-Democratic Party

 

Votes for Jokowi Camp

Opposition (Gerindra-PKS)

01 With PAN-Democratic Party

76.62%

22.87%

01 Without PAN-Democratic Party

62.01%

37.48%

 

PKS Central Executive Board (DPP) Chairman Mardani Ali Sera seemed to strengthen the opinion of observers. He invited the political party supporting Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno in the Adil Makmur Coalition to continue togetherness to be constructive opposition. He considers that being a critical opposition is the most rational choice for his party at this time.

“We must recognize Jokowi-Ma’ruf’s victory. We both love this country, but not together in the coalition. We become a critical and constructive opposition,” Mardani said at the Parliament Complex in Jakarta, Monday (1/7).

If the power sharing wrapped in political reconciliation is difficult to implement, Arif Susanto suggested the Jokowi-Ma'’uf government to take two other avenues. First, forming a coalition with parties supporting Prabowo in the upcoming Regional Head Election (Pilkada). Second, accommodating the wishes of Prabowo's supporters in legislation in the DPR. “Power sharing will be difficult because resources are limited. The cake [power] remains unchanged, but the number of recipients increases,” he said.

Gerindra has taken the lead in becoming an opposition to safeguard democracy. The party wrote on its official Twitter account that there will be no reconciliation as long as the government does not implement Prabowo’s ‘Indonesia Raya’ vision and mission. “This is because the purpose of reconciliation must be for the national interests, not the power holder interests,” the party wrote on @Gerindra, Tuesday (7/2).

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