Golkar Support to Government Unchanged as Hartarto Takes Party Helm

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia’s second largest political party, Golkar announced that the party’s plenary meeting on Wednesday night (13/12) has agreed to appoint the party’s executive board member Airlangga Hartarto, currently Indonesia’s Industry Minister as the Golkar new chairman.

Airlangga Hartarto will replace Setya Novanto, who is currently a defendant in a mega corruption case. Novanto was named as a suspect in an electronic identity card (e-KTP) graft case on July 17 this year.

“Starting tonight [Wednesday evening], Airlangga will be the Golkar chairman. With the plenary meeting’s decision, the chairman position is no longer vacant,” the party’s executive chairman Nurdin Halid was quoted by Detikcom as saying.

The powerful party in the country is scheduled to hold an extraordinary national meeting (Munaslub) to officially inaugurate Hartarto as the party’s chairman.Previously, there are already several figures expressing their interest to become new Golkar chairman. They include former president Soeharto`s daughter Siti Hediati Hariyadi.

After the announcement, Hartarto asserted Golkar’s support to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo for two periods.  He confirmed that the party will not change the party’s support to President Widodo in the current government and as a presidential candidate in 2019 despite changing the party chairman.

“The Golkar Party continues to provide assistance and the Golkar Party is committed to supporting the government of Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla until 2019 and then supports the Presidential candidate 2019-2024,” he said.

Hartarto also thanked the people for his appointment as chairman of Golkar. He insists that there is no frictions in the Golkar’s internal body. He also puts the fate of his current ministerial position decision to President Jokowi, whether he will resign as a minister or not.

“Let the President decide,” he said.

Vice Chairman of the Golkar Party Expert Board Mahyudin confirmed Golkar Party believes Jokowi still has a very high level of electability and has a great potential to win the 2019 race.

“We are confident at the moment that Jokowi’s potential to be elected is still very strong, and indeed the person is good,” said Mahyudin, who is also the former regent of East Kutai.

Written by Elisa Valenta, email: elisa.valenta@theinsiderstories.com