The founder of the Islamic-based Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS), Yusuf Supendi, has nominated himself as a legislative candidate for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).
Supendi is a former PKS leader who served as a member of the House of Representatives (DPR) in 2004-2009.
Supendi admitted that he has switched parties and is now a member of the party of the bull as the PDI-P is known. Today, Tuesday July 17, he will join a group of PDI-P members to register with the General Elections Commission (KPU).
Nevertheless, Supendi has yet to reveal further details about his status within the PDI-P. "[It will be announced in] a press release later at the (PDI-P's) central leadership board", he told Kumparan.
Supendi was sacked by the PKS in 2010. At the time he held the post of deputy chairperson of the PKS's advisory board.
In his book titled, "Yusuf Supendi Sues the PKS Elite", he claimed that he was sacked because of [false] accusations that had an affair with another woman and misappropriated donations.
Supendi claims that this is slander. He also says that his sacking was not carried out in accordance with procedures because he never received a formal notification. Supendi later sued the PKS in the South Jakarta District Court.
These kind of opportunistic defections, which are taking place in the context of continued infighting within the organised Islamic opposition to the Widodo government and former general Prabowo Subianto's failure to cobble together a viable coalition of political parties to enable him to contest the 2019 presidential election, demonstrate, yet again, just how shallow the ideological and political differences are among Indonesia's political and religious elite.
See Max Lane's article The country with no left.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Pendiri PKS Yusuf Supendi Nyaleg dari PDIP".]