Mon, 14 Jul 2003

PDI-P threatens splinter members

SURABAYA: The central board of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) threatened on Sunday to dismiss its legislators should they oppose the party's nomination of the incumbent East Java governor for another five-year term.

The pair of Utomo and Sunarjo have been nominated by President Megawati Soekarnoputri's PDI Perjuangan for the gubernatorial race scheduled for July 17.

"It is obligatory for all PDI Perjuangan faction members in the East Java Legislative Council to abide by the party's organizational regulations, otherwise they will face sanctions. They could be recalled if they breach the rules," Sutjipto, the PDI Perjuangan secretary-general, was quoted by Antara as saying.

Speaking in the East Java capital of Surabaya, he said that if the legislators committed serious violations, the PDI Perjuangan would not hesitate to remove them from the party.

In what many be seen as an undemocratic stance, the Megawati- led party had made good on its earlier threat to fire its local legislators for refusing to vote for Oemarsono as the Lampung governor.

The incumbent Oemarsono, supported by Megawati, was defeated in the gubernatorial election by his rival candidate.

Also, the country's largest political party dismissed its senior councillors who voted against Governor Sutiyoso in the gubernatorial election last year.

Sutiyoso, partly blamed for the bloody July 27, 1996 attack on Megawati's headquarters, won the reelection for another five-year term on Megawati's ticket. --JP