Sat, 23 Aug 2003

PDI Perjuangan researchers 'punished' for their own findings

The research agency of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) may have been the victim of its own work, being disbanded after it did a survey that found the party was losing grassroots supporters.

"The presentation and recommendations of the research agency resulted in its suspension because party leaders considered the results to be not in accordance with their assumptions," Sukowaluyo Mintoraharjo, secretary of the defunct agency, said.

"The central executive board is overconfident because they do not know what is really going on at the grassroots level," he said.

The research agency presented its findings to party chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri on July 29 during a meeting of the central executive board at the party's headquarters. The agency was disbanded two weeks later.

The central executive board said it was restructuring the agency because of what board chairman Kwik Kian Gie called some "discord" between the board and the agency.

Megawati, who is also the President, earlier this week assigned Kwik to head a newly formed research agency, which will comprise experts drawn from outside the party.

This internal dispute is one more example of PDI Perjuangan members being disappointed and frustrated by the leadership of Megawati. Two prominent party members, Sophan Sophiaan and Meliono Suwondo, earlier submitted votes of no-confidence against Megawati.

It is ironic that Megawati is losing supporters while in the presidential office, Sukowaluyo said, adding that several former PDI Perjuangan members had left to establish new parties.

"The problem is that those who are loyal and critical of the party are considered enemies, while bootlickers have close ties with the leaders," Sukowaluyo said.