PKS to Pursue Alternative Coalition If Talks with SBY Fail

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Jakarta, May 14 – A possible appointment of Bank Indonesia Governor Boediono as the running mate of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), the patron of the Democratic Party (PD), has inspired the Islamic-oriented Justice Welfare Party (PKS) to think twice to maintain its coalition with Yudhoyono’s camp.

Anis Matta, PKS Secretary General, said here on Thursday his party would pursue another alternative coalition if the talks with Yudhoyono’s camp to overcome the problem ended in a failure.

However Boediono’s candidacy has created a havoc within PD’s block of coalition parties, which includes PKS.

“What we deplore much is not the appointment of Boediono as running mate, but it is more focused on the lack of communication that has been built,” he said.

According to him, all along Yudhoyono had heralded his partnership with the political parties that supported him. But as time went by, Yudhoyoho eventually abandoned his commitment by making a strategic decision on his own.

The PKS would decide what further steps it would take independently and without the influence of other political parties, he said.

“But if the problem remains unsolved beyond the limits of our tolerance, PKS will immediately pursue an alternative coalescing course which we have already prepared,” Anis Matta said.

Asked what the alternative course was, Matta said it would be revealed in the next few days.

He added that PKS had made intensive political communication with other parties such as with the Megawati Soekarnoputri-Parabowo camp as well as the Jusuf Kalla-Wiranto camp.

According to him, PKS may form a new bloc with other political parties or switch its support to the Jusuf Kalla-Wiranto pair.

“We respect Jusuf Kalla because he is consistent in running for the presidency although based on surveys he is an ‘underdog,” Matta said.

In the meantime, PKS faction head Mahfudz Siddiq that his party was scheduled to meet with the Democratic Party (PD) on Thursday evening to finalize coalition negotiations ahead of July’s presidential election.

According to him, his party would make use of the meeting to consider both parties coalition in parliament. The PKS previously expressed its disappointment over incumbent president and PD chief patron Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s selection of Bank Indonesia (BI) Governor Boediono as his running mate for the upcoming election.

If the talks ends in failure, an alternative coalition might emerge following the disappointment of the political parties that have aligned themselves with the Democratic Party (PD), Mahfudz said.

Two of the parties in the coalition, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the United Development Party (PPP), have expressed their disappointment.

The main reason for their disappointment is the lack of communication from the PD in determining Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s running mate in the July presidential election.

“The PD never talked to us and all of a sudden, Boediono emerges as the vice-presidential candidate for SBY,” Anis Matta said in Jakarta on Tuesday.

“We still believe we need a representation of nationalists and Muslims in the nation’s top government structure. That representation is important for the nation’s unity.” he said.

PPP executive Lukman Hakim meanwhile said SBY had the right to name Boediono, but he should have at least consulted the parties first.

“The very first thing SBY needs to do now is to clarify the rumors, and if it does turn out to be true, SBY must explain the reasons to us,” he said.

Mahfudz then said that based on the parties’ calculation, there was a potential for them to establish a much stronger alternative coalition, together with the Golkar Party, the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), and the Greater Indonesian Movement (Gerindra).

“Then we will have around 60 percent of seats in the legislative body and become a dominant force. PD acts as if it has won the elections by 70 percent of tally,” he further said.

“PD says that Bank Indonesia Governor Boediono’s candidacy as vice-president possibility is at 99 percent, while the other percent belongs to God. Well I say, 99 percent of the candidacy belongs to God and only one percent belongs to PD and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY),” Mahfud added.

In the meantime, an observer on strategy, Dr Subchan said SBY’s decision to pick Boediono as his running mate has actually created an havoc to PD’s coalition partners, thus causing them to think it twice to continue supporting SBY’s nomination.

“Under this circumstance, it is much better for PKS and PAN which have expressed their doubt to support SBY,” he was quoted by Antara correspondent in London as saying on Thursday.

“Such a blunder SBY has made is just his arrogance and PD failure to discuss the naming of Boediono together with their coalition partners,” said Subchan who is working for the British Cranfield Defence and Security.

In fact, it was just a few days ago that the Democratic Party and PKS had forced an effective communication in taking such important decision, he said, adding that the style of SBY and the Democratic Party which were inconsistent with the agreed plantform has shown to the public how fragile the Cikias coalition was.

According to Subchan, it was advisable for PKS to become an opposition party whereas it could make a shadow cabinet of PKS style. By doing so, PKS was expected to be able to produce young and qualified cadres for the nation who are ready to take the responsibility of the country’s future leadership.

(source ANTARA)

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