Jakarta – The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) has reiterated its determination to remain an opposition party despite its former allies edging closer to joining the ruling coalition.
"Our position is clear, if we had won the election we would be part of the government, otherwise we remain outside it," PKS senior politician Hidayat Nur Wahid told reporters on Monday. "That has been our position since the days of Gus Dur [former president Abdurrahman Wahid]."
During the 2019 election, the PKS formed a coalition with the Gerindra Party, the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the Democratic Party to support Gerindra chairman Prabowo Subianto's presidential bid. The coalition was dissolved shortly after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo was declared the official winner of the election at the end of June.
Since then Gerindra, PAN and the Democrats have all said they were open to joining the ruling coalition, and in the past week, Jokowi has met with the chairmen of all three parties at the State Palace, most recently with PAN chairman Zulkifli Hasan on Monday. If all three parties end up joining the government, eight of the nine parties in the House of Representatives will be in the ruling coalition, with only the PKS remaining as the lone opposition party.
Hidayat, however, said the party was undeterred. "We have never been afraid. If PAN decides to remain outside the Cabinet then they will be with us, but even without PAN, we have the courage to stand alone," he said. "Political logic clearly states that democracy needs checks and balances. The size [of the opposition] doesn't matter, it's the quality." (kmt)