Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – Golkar Party politician and former House of Representatives speaker Bambang Soesatyo has been elected by acclamation as the new People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker for the 2019-2024 legislative term with support from all factions in the MPR.
Bambang took the oath of office during a plenary session on Thursday night, along with the nine new deputy speakers representing the other political parties and the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) faction: Ahmad Basarah of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), Jazilul Fawaid of the National Awakening Party (PKB), Arsul Sani of the United Development Party (PPP), Lestari Moerdijat of the NasDem Party, Zulkifli Hasan of the National Mandate Party (PAN), Hidayat Nur Wahid of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Syarif Hasan of the Democratic Party, Fadel Muhammad of the DPD and Ahmad Muzani of the Gerindra Party.
Muzani was Bambang's the strongest contender in the race before finally agreeing to endorse his nomination.
Riza Patria, the head of the Gerindra faction in the MPR, said the decision to back Bambang was the result of a discussion between Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto and PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri on Thursday afternoon.
"Both of them agreed not to support a voting mechanism to elect the MPR speaker [...] We, the Gerindra faction, have agreed to support Pak Bambang Soesatyo as the speaker," Riza said.
"Therefore, with Gerindra's agreement, Bambang Soesatyo is elected MPR speaker by acclamation, through a consensus agreement," said acting MPR chairman Abdul Wahab Dalimunthe of the Democrats.
During his first speech as MPR speaker, Bambang thanked Prabowo for his support.
"Thank you for Pak Prabowo, Pak Airlangga Hartarto [Golkar Party chairman], Pak Surya Paloh [NasDem Party chairman] and Pak Suharso Monoarfa [the PPP interim chairman] for supporting the musyawarah[consultation] way in electing the MPR speaker," Bambang said.