Tue, 25 Oct 1994

Harmoko sees Golkar's rivals as `undemocratic'

JAKARTA (JP): Harmoko, chairman of the ruling political group Golkar, considers those who do not want to see Golkar grow stronger "undemocratic, narrow minded and do not respect people's political rights."

When briefing Golkar cadres in Kotamo Bagu, North Sulawesi, Sunday, Harmoko said Golkar's landslide victories in past general elections showed that most Indonesian citizens wanted the organization to expand.

Harmoko, also the minister of information, said he knew of people who meant to make Golkar shrink in favor of its rival political parties.

Political organizations everywhere used the general election to win as many votes as possible, he said.

Harmoko said, "If the people want Golkar to win 100 percent, there is no one who can stop the people's wishes," Antara reported.

"If, in an area, Golkar receives 100 percent of the votes, then it doesn't necessarily mean there is no democracy in that particular region," he added.

Golkar currently dominates the House of Representatives (DPR) with 282 seats it obtained in the 1992 election. Its rivals, the United Development Party (PPP) has 62 seats and the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) 56. The Armed Forces (ABRI) reserves 100 of the total 500 seats in DPR.

It lost 17 seats in the last election, mostly in favor of the nationalist-Christian alliance PDI, which won 16 additional seats in the House.

Golkar, Harmoko said, aims to remain the dominant political organization, offering programs which focus on the improvement of people's welfare.

He reiterated that Golkar wanted to win the 1997 general election in a fair manner.(pan)