Wed, 31 Aug 1994

Military wants PPP to end conflict and consolidate

JAKARTA (JP): Armed Forces (ABRI) Chief Gen. Feisal Tanjung told the United Development Party (PPP) yesterday to end its factional bickering and consolidate.

PPP should learn from past experience that internal conflict has hindered its own development and progress, he said when addressing about 800 participants of the four-day congress which opened Monday.

Minister of Home Affairs Moch. Yogie S.M. also briefed the congress at the Pondok Gede Haj Dormitory, East Jakarta.

"The congress should seek ways on how to end the internal conflict and strengthen consolidation," Feisal said.

Established in 1973, PPP is a fusion of four Moslem political organizations Muslimin Indonesia (MI), Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Perti and Serikat Indonesia (SI). Internal conflict is usually triggered by a struggle for power among the factions.

Feisal said that ABRI wanted to see PPP consolidate and contribute more to the promotion of democracy in Indonesia.

ABRI, which plays a pivotal role in Indonesian politics, has assured it will not interfere in the party's internal affairs.

Lt. Gen. R. Hartono, chief of ABRI's social-political affairs, has assured that ABRI has no intention of pushing for any figure it favors to lead the party, and promised it would welcome whoever the congress elects.

Earlier rumors suggested that the military and the government both wanted to see incumbent chairman Ismail Hasan Metareum to remain at the helm for another five years.


Minister Yogie warned that youths' distrust of political organizations may lower people's participation in future general elections.

Political organizations and the government should be mindful of a trend among youths to mistrust them on the grounds that they have failed to address their wishes, he said.

He said there was mounting pressure from young people, with visions that differ from those of the older generation, who mean to introduce foreign concepts into national politics.

The groups, whose numbers are growing, would not trust the existing political organizations which generally hold onto old values, he added.

"It is possible that many of them will refuse to vote in the election," he said, adding that he was optimistic the participation rate of the 1997 election would still be above 90 percent.

Yogie argued that intensive communication with the public would allow the political organizations to absorb more of the people's aspirations and make them more meaningful.

The Indonesian government sanctions three political organizations, the Moslem-based PPP, the government-backed Golkar and PDI (Indonesian Democratic Party) -- an amalgam of Christian and nationalist forces.

The minister, who controls the development of socio-political organizations, criticized PPP, PDI and Golkar for not communicating enough with each other.

"It's deplorable that they seem to refuse to communicate," he said.

In an apparent breach of the government's pledge not to interfere in PPP's domestic affairs, Yogie suggested yesterday that the party disregard voting for its new chairman.

Instead, the party should select its new leadership in the spirit of musyawarah mufakat or deliberation for consensus.

"The government believes that deliberation for consensus is better and therefore should be prioritized (over voting)," he said. (pan/par)