Yudhoyono may lose sight of presidency in party wrangles

Jakarta (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - As Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono tries to deal with the turmoil that has rocked his Democratic Party, critics worry that his decision to take over the party could adversely impact his running of the country.

On Sunday evening, Yudhoyono met with leaders of all 33 Democratic Party provincial branches at his private residence in Cikeas, Bogor, West Java, in an apparent move to strengthen his grip on the party's nationwide structure after taking over control from incumbent chairman Anas Urbaningrum.

Following the meeting, Yudho-yono ordered all provincial branch leaders to sign integrity pacts that would ban them from engaging in corrupt practices.

Yudhoyono also defended his decision to take control of the party.

"I am committed to my oath to serve the country. My predecessors, such as the late National Awakening Party [PKB] chief patron Abdurrahman Wahid and Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle [PDI-P] chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri, also ran their parties without ignoring the state," Yudhoyono said.

Yudhoyono's decision to involve himself in the party's internal affairs by wresting control from Anas was announced on Friday night following long meetings with party patrons late last week.

Many have criticised the decision. "Yudhoyono must be careful in making such a decision because it could be a political blunder. His decision to take over the party may consume his resources and compromise his concentration on governing the state," IndoBarometer political analyst M. Qodari said on Sunday.

Qodari warned that if it appeared his government's performance was affected, it could be even worse for Yudhoyono's image and the popularity of the Democratic Party. "He mustn't let his efforts to salvage his party wreck the country."

Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) analysts Burhanuddin Muhtadi concurred with Qodari. "This is the last two years of Yudhoyono's administration. He should be concerned that people will only remember him as a mediocre president if his government fails to perform," he said.

Yudhoyono's decision to take on the responsibility for his party has also led to criticism from politicians, particularly those from parties in his ruling coalition.

"I think Yudhoyono's decision is a serious threat to the effectiveness of the Cabinet. The government could lose focus if his ministers follow his example in dealing largely with the problems of their respective political parties," Golkar Party lawmaker Bambang Soesatyo said.

In July last year, Yudhoyono told a Cabinet meeting that ministers who were too busy with their political activities ahead of the 2014 election should resign. He said he wanted all Cabinet members to prioritise the government's interests.

Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha denied suggestions that Yudhoyono's interference in the Democratic Party could compromise his duties as President.

"The President has always put the state's interests ahead of everything. He is busy coordinating with his ministers, asking for reports and so on but not all of his activities are covered by the media. I think many analysts have failed to understand this, leading to them making comments that discredit the President," he said in a statement.

Julian said that Yudhoyono had little option but to step in and deal with the troubles that had beset his party. "The current situation has forced the President, as the Democratic Party's founder and chief patron, to devote a little portion of his time to salvage the party. His decision must be supported, otherwise, he could be deemed as unconcerned about the party's fate," Julian added.

Separately, Anas, who was not invited to the Cikeas meeting, has continued to act as if he is still in charge of the party. On Saturday, he inaugurated heads of party branches at regency and municipality levels in Banten, giving the impression that he still wields power within the party.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Super typhoon weakens after entering Philippines

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A super typhoon blamed for the deaths of at least four people on islands in the western Pacific Ocean has weakened after entering Philippine waters and is expected to further lose strength as it approaches the country's northeastern coast. …

  • Micronesians appeal for help after devastating typhoon
    Micronesians appeal for help after devastating typhoon

    Residents in storm wrecked areas of Micronesia appealed for help Thursday as a clean-up began on the worst affected islands after Super Typhoon Maysak swept through the region on its way towards the Philippines. "We can do with all the help we can get," Courtney Stinnett at the Truk Stop Hotel dive shop on the main island of Weno in Chuuk state told AFP. A state of emergency has been declared in Chuuk, the largest region in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) where five people were …

  • From Space, Typhoon Maysak's Eye Looks Like a Black Hole (Photo)
    From Space, Typhoon Maysak's Eye Looks Like a Black Hole (Photo)

    It seemed like a black hole from a Sci-Fi movie," NASA astronaut Terry Virts wrote on Twitter. Virts and his fellow astronauts have been posting pictures of the typhoon, which is expected to hit the Philippines this weekend if it doesn't change course. "Commands respect even from space," wrote Samantha Cristoforetti, an Italian astronaut with the European Space Agency who launched into space with Virts in November. As of 11 a.m. EdT today (1500 GMT), the super typhoon was 223 miles (359 km) …

  • Muslim group calls for universal peace
    Muslim group calls for universal peace

    As predominantly Catholic Philippines and the rest of the Christian world observe the Holy Week, peace advocates like the Young Muslim Professionals Network (YMPN) are appealing to Filipinos of various creeds and persuasion to embrace the universal message of kindness, love and peace. The group issued the call as peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front teeter due to the Mamasapano incident where members of the rebel group killed 44 police commandos on a …

  • Ex-WB exec pushes BBL passage
    Ex-WB exec pushes BBL passage

    A former World Bank official has warned of dire consequences for the Philippines if the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is not passed into law. Nigel Roberts, former director on conflict, security and development, said that more conflict could occur without the BBL. “It takes about 15 years to get back to pre-conflict GDP growth rates, and 20 years for trade to recover,” Roberts said in his blog at the World Bank website. The World Bank estimated that economic losses amounted to $10 …

  • Despite typhoon, summer is here
    Despite typhoon, summer is here

    Super Typhoon Chedeng roared toward Luzon as the weather bureau announced the official start of summer in the country yesterday. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced yesterday the official start of the dry or summer season in the country due to the termination of the cold northeast monsoon. “The general public is advised to take precautionary measures to minimize heat stress and take note of the need in optimizing the daily use of …

  • Noy told: Just answer the questions
    Noy told: Just answer the questions

    Just answer the 20 questions. The Makabayan bloc of seven party-list representatives made this appeal to President Aquino yesterday after his spokesman claimed the Chief Executive has already answered most of the questions posed by the militant lawmakers regarding the Mamasapano incident. For instance, he said the President has not yet explained why he allowed then suspended Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima to take the lead in Oplan Exodus or the mission to …

  • DFA: Malaysia paying rent for Sabah
    DFA: Malaysia paying rent for Sabah

    Malaysia does not acknowledge the Philippine claim over Sabah but the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) maintained yesterday that the Malaysian government is paying rent for Sabah, indicating it rightfully belongs to the Philippines. The Malay Mail Online reported that Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Malaysia has not and does not acknowledge the Philippine claim over Sabah when asked by media about the reported offer of the Philippine government to downgrade its Sabah …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options