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Democratic Party refuses to join Rizieq-initiated coalition

Tempo - June 7, 2018

Ahmad Faiz Ibnu Sani, Jakarta – Democratic Party central board (DPP) chairman Ferdinand Hutahaean stated his organization declined to join a coalition initiated by Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab.

According to Ferdinand, the Democratic Party will not be working for Rizieq. "If we are to be working for Habib Rizieq, we are not interested," said Ferdinand today at his office, Wisma Proklamasi, Jakarta.

Ferdinand said the Democratic Party was in intensive communications with the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party. However, the communications did not last for long as Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto had a meeting with Rizieq.

"If Prabowo remains under Rizieq's command, the Democratic Party will not join [the coalition]," he said.

According to Ferdinand, no representatives from Gerindra or other parties have explained about the coalition. Thus, he views that the coalition is still a concept proposed by certain figures.

Ferdinand mentioned the FPI did not invite the Democratic Party to join the coalition since Rizieq was once imprisoned by the authorities under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono leadership.

After the meeting between Prabowo and Rizieq Shihab, Ferdinand added, Democratic Party chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono or SBY issued an instruction to form a similar coalition.

Ferdinand explained the move was not meant to disrespect religious leaders. The Democratic Party, he went on, views Ulemas as advisors instead of policymakers.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/news/2018/06/07/055919054/Democratic-Party-Refuses-to-Join-Rizieq-Initiated-Coalition