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PDI-P gives blessing for Golkar's Bambang in MPR race - but with conditions

Jakarta Post - October 3, 2019

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the largest party in the House of Representatives and President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's coalition leader, has decided to throw its support behind Bambang Soesatyo of the Golkar Party in the race for the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker post.

The party's support, which came following the blessing of PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri for Bambang, was however not a "blank check" and came with conditions, PDI-P executive Ahmad Basarah said.

Megawati instructed the party on Wednesday night to support Bambang as a form of power-sharing with Golkar – the party that gained the third-largest number votes after the PDI-P and the Gerindra Party in April's election – in the race for the MPR's top post, even though all party factions in the House would get a representative in MPR leadership.

The conditions set by the PDI-P include that Bambang and Golkar should engage in political lobbying with other parties so that all agree that the election for MPR speaker would be carried out in musyawarah untuk mufakat (deliberation for consensus) instead of voting.

"The PDI-P also calls on Bambang to support the plan of for a limited amendment to the 1945 Constitution and to reinstate State Policy Guidelines [GBHN] through an MPR decree," Ahmad said.

Bambang previously voiced opposition to the PDI-P-led plan to amend the Constitution. The leading ruling party also demanded that Bambang and Golkar maintain their support for Jokowi's administration for the next five years.

Ahmad claimed Bambang and Golkar had agreed to grant all the PDI-P's demands during a meeting between the MPR faction leaders on Wednesday afternoon.

With PDI-P's endorsement, parties in the coalition backing Jokowi's reelection in April are no longer divided over their support for Bambang, who will face-off with Ahmad Muzani of Gerindra in the MPR speakership race.

A plenary session to elect the MPR speaker will be held on Thursday afternoon.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/10/03/pdi-p-gives-blessing-for-golkars-bambang-in-mpr-race-but-with-conditions.html