Tue, 23 May 2000

Political maneuverings affect the economy

Factions in the House of Representatives, particularly those of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle and Golkar, have been busily maneuvering lately. What binds them together is common interests such as the recent dismissal of state minister of investment and state enterprises development Laksamana Sukardi and the minister of industry and trade, Yusuf Kalla, who is prominent member of Golkar. Another factor that brings them together is dissatisfaction with the government's performance, especially in economic matters.

It is not clear at this point what the actual objective of all this maneuvering is -- a stratagem in which the Axis Force is also playing a part. That may only become clear in another month or two. Whatever happens until then could, therefore, still help determine what form that final objective will take. One speculation is that President Abdurrahman Wahid will be removed from his position on grounds of inability to overcome this nation's many difficulties.

This kind of speculation obviously is not very encouraging for the money market and investors. Under such conditions, the rise of a more conducive situation is very much dependent on the actions of the members of our political elite. As long as they continue to put their party's or group's interests first, our economy will be unfavorably affected.

-- Bisnis Indonesia, Jakarta