Laurencius Simanjuntak, Jakarta – It appears that the phenomena of 'changing cloths' is becoming commonplace in the lead up to the 2009 general elections. The Chairperson of the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas) Advisory Board, Dita Indah Sari, along with a number of her party colleagues have followed suit and joined the Reform Star Party (PBR).
"I have become a member of PBR, and I have put myself forward to become a legislative candidate. My colleagues meanwhile, not Papernas as an institution, around 40 people [have also joined the PBR]," said the former student activist from the 1990s when met by journalists after attending the PBR's electoral number launching at the offices of the PBR's central board of directors on Jl. KH Abdullah Syafii in Tebet, South Jakarta, on Saturday August 2.
Sari did this because through her own party – a party that will not be participating in the elections – she cannot convey her political aspirations. "I have tried to establish a party, Papernas. But we [faced] many obstacles, that were physical in character, even violence in several places", said the woman whose former party was not verified by the General Elections Commission.
Sari said that although she had moved house, there are no parties that are truly clean. She moved because she wanted her political aspirations to find an outlet. "[I] looked for the best from the worse," she asserted.
Papernas members were involved in physical clashes with the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and the Betawi Brotherhood Forum on March 29, 2007. The FPI considers Papernas to following a leftist course and to be taking up communist values. (lrn/gah)
In a separate article on the same day, Detik.com reported that also present at the launch was Golkar Party powerbroker Akbar Tanjung, a number of celebrities including singers Dewi Yul (who is also considering running as a PBR candidate) and Franky Sahilatua, activist Ratna Sarumpaet, and representatives of 29 worker, farmer and street trader organisations, Mosque leaders, orphans and homeless people.
[Translated by James Balowski.]