Thu, 19 Jun 2003

PDI-P dismisses 16 top officials

Oyos Saroso HN, Jakarta Post, Bandar Lampung, Lampung

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) dismissed 16 party functionaries in Lampung for insubordination and involvement in drugs.

The dismissals, approved by PDI Perjuangan chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri and secretary-general Sutjipto, were announced by party deputy chairman Gunawan Wirosarojo here on Wednesday.

"The (dismissals) were decided on to salvage the party. We do not know what will happen to the party if its local functionaries do not act in compliance with the party's policies," Gunawan said.

Of the 16 functionaries, 13 were dismissed for opposing the party's policy of supporting Oemarsono in the gubernatorial elections held on Dec. 30, 2002.

They were the chairman of the PDI Perjuangan branch in Central Lampung, Bonanza Kusuma; the secretary of the PDI Perjuangan branch in Central Lampung, Junaidi; the chairman of PDI Perjuangan's Lampung provincial chapter, Ansori Yunus; the secretary of the party's provincial chapter, Romulus Prabawa; and Abbas Hadisunyoto, Firmansyah, Suhaili Kamarudin, B. Sarjono, Jamil Jasin, Hadi Syaukat, Cerius Martuabasa, Syahrial Alamsyah and Alziers Dianis Tabranie.

All of the 13 dismissed functionaries are members of the provincial legislative council or the Central Lampung regency legislature.

Three others -- Yur Aplah, Hendropriyono and Joko Suwondo -- were dismissed because of their alleged involvement in drug cases. There were no details on the cases.

Oemarsono was defeated by Alziers in the gubernatorial election. President Megawati refused to accept Alziers' victory because he was allegedly involved in several corruption cases when he was secretary of the provincial administration between 1997 and 2002.

Alziers is currently being investigated by the police over the corruption cases.

Despite the support of Megawati and the PDI Perjuangan central board, the incumbent Oemarsono managed to secure only 30 of 70 votes, compared to Alziers' 39 votes.

Gunawan said the 16 dismissed functionaries were no longer party members and were not allowed to speak or act in the name of PDI Perjuangan.

Asked about the party's internal rules on punishing members, Gunawan said that before being dismissed the functionaries received oral and written warnings, which they ignored.

"They also were suspended from their daily activities in the party and the legislature, but they failed to change their course and cast their votes for Alziers in the gubernatorial elections," he said.

Sarjono, one of the dismissed functionaries, said he was prepared to take the party to court over the dismissal.

"I am ready to go to court to face the party's executive board. The party has no authority to recall me from the legislative council because I represent the people, not the party," he said.

Sarjono regretted the party did not learn from its experience in throwing its support behind Sutiyoso in last year's Jakarta gubernatorial elections.

He also implied the President was not democratic, saying she failed to heed the political aspirations of the people of Lampung, who supported Alziers.