Setya may lose Golkar con­trol de­spite pre­trial win

Golkar has agreed to oust Setya or al­low him to re­sign Golkar will hold a ple­nary meet­ing on Mon­day to ap­point Air­langga

The Jakarta Post - - FRONT PAGE - Mar­gareth S. Ari­to­nang

To will­ingly give up the chair­man­ship or be forcibly ousted are the two op­tions given to Golkar Party Chair­man Setya over the fate of his lead­er­ship of the sec­ond big­gest party in the coun­try.

Af­ter the South Jakarta District Court ruled in fa­vor of his pre­trial mo­tion on Fri­day, Setya now must face an­other trial: one by Golkar’s ex­ec­u­tive board and its 34 pro­vin­cial lead­ers who will vote to de­ter­mine the fate of his lead­er­ship on Mon­day.

The ma­jor­ity of these party elites ap­pear to have agreed that Setya must re­lin­quish con­trol of the party and have con­curred that his pre­trial vic­tory would not nec­es­sar­ily get him off the hook as the Cor­rup­tion Erad­i­ca­tion Com­mis­sion’s (KPK) in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the high-pro­file pro­cure­ment of e-ID cards con­tin­ues.

“Setya’s pre­trial mo­tion has noth­ing to do with Golkar,” Golkar ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Nur­din Halid said on the side­lines of Golkar’s na­tional meet­ing in Jakarta on Fri­day. “The le­gal process [of Setya] is his per­sonal busi­ness [...] We will still eval­u­ate his lead­er­ship.”

Nur­din made his re­marks only hours be­fore South Jakarta District Court judge Cepi Iskan­dar an­nulled Setya’s sus­pect sta­tus in the e-ID graft case.

De­spite the pre­trial rul­ing, KPK in­ves­ti­ga­tors may at any time in the fu­ture is­sue an­other de­ci­sion to name Setya, who is also the speaker of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, a sus­pect in the case.

Mean­while, at the res­i­dence of party elite Air­langga Har­tarto, who is also the in­dus­try min­is­ter, sev­eral party elites gath­ered to dis­cuss “nec­es­sary mea­sures to take to save the party.”

Head of Golkar’s po­lit­i­cal, le­gal and se­cu­rity af­fairs di­vi­sion, Yor­rys Raweyai, con­firmed the elites’ Fri­day meet­ing, say­ing that he was one of the par­tic­i­pants, in ad­di­tion to Air­langga him­self.

Yor­rys, who was ap­pointed head of the team to save the party from sink­ing, ex­plained that the meet­ing par­tic­i­pants agreed on two things: to oust Setya and to ap­point Air­langga as act­ing chair­man un­til 2019 when Golkar plans to se­lect a new chair­man.

“The po­lit­i­cal process re­gard­ing his [Setya’s] lead­er­ship sta­tus has noth­ing to do with the le­gal process re­gard­ing his graft sus­pect sta­tus,” Yor­rys said.

“No mat­ter what, he has to ei­ther vol­un­tar­ily re­sign his po­si­tion or be forced to do it,” he added.

Yor­rys, one of the most out­spo­ken crit­ics of Setya, ar­gued that it was in­evitable for Setya to give up con­trol of Golkar, since his al­leged role in the high-pro­file e-ID graft case had neg­a­tively im­pacted Golkar’s electabil­ity.

An­other Golkar team as­signed to fur­ther scru­ti­niz­ing the party’s sink­ing im­age has found Setya’s al­leged role in the e-ID scan­dal to be the key fac­tor in Golkar’s de­clin­ing electabil­ity. An­other fac­tor is the party’s sup­port for then Jakarta gover­nor Ba­suki Tja­haja “Ahok” Pur­nama in his gu­ber­na­to­rial bid.

Two poll­sters the team re­cently con­sulted with — the In­done­sian Sur­vey Cir­cle (LSI) and Sai­ful Mu­jani Re­search and Con­sult­ing (SMRC) — have found that Golkar’s electabil­ity has tum­bled to be­low 11.6 per­cent and 9 per­cent, re­spec­tively, this year.

Golkar is set to hold a ple­nary meet­ing on Mon­day to fi­nal­ize mea­sures to an­tic­i­pate the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing party im­age, in­clud­ing the ap­point­ment of Air­langga to tem­po­rar­ily take over con­trol of the party from Setya un­til 2019, re­arrange­ment of the party’s man­age­ment and changes to its po­lit­i­cal stance on some is­sues.

The party has del­e­gated its Honorary Coun­cil head, Abur­izal Bakrie, to per­suade Setya to vol­un­tar­ily step down.

Setya re­peat­edly used his de­te­ri­o­rat­ing health to es­cape the KPK’s calls into ques­tion­ing. He re­cently at­tracted na­tion­wide at­ten­tion af­ter a pic­ture of him ly­ing in a room be­lieved to be at a hos­pi­tal went vi­ral, prompt­ing ne­ti­zens to spot ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the im­age.

But his health con­di­tion ap­peared to back­fire, with the party’s Youth Move­ment Group (GMPG), which is led by Ah­mad Doli Kur­nia, sug­gest­ing that Setya give up the lead­er­ship seat in or­der to fo­cus on his health.

JP/Dhoni Se­ti­awan

In­valid: Judge Cepi Iskan­dar leads a hear­ing on Fri­day of a pre­trial mo­tion re­quested by House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Speaker Setya No­vanto to chal­lenge the Cor­rup­tion Erad­i­ca­tion Com­mis­sion’s (KPK) de­ci­sion to name him a sus­pect in the e-ID graft case at the South Jakarta District Court. In the court’s rul­ing, Cepi said Setya’s sus­pect sta­tus was in­valid be­cause a sus­pect could only be named at the end of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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