Political Background and the Objective of SBY- Prabowo Meeting
The information on the meeting between Prabowo and SBY has apparently become one of attractive news in the end July 2017 in this country. General (Ret) SBY and Lieut. Gen (Ret) Prabowo are considered as two successful army General in their military career, graduated from their first military education in the National Military Academy (now The Military Academy) in Magelang, though in different year, but definitely they knows each other very well.
They have been assigned in different military unit so definitely they have not been in the close contact at anytime. Prabowo quit from TNI after May 1998 incidence and created Gerindra Party, meanwhile SBY was appointed to be active in various jobs and also created the Democratic Party. He was elected as President of the Republic of Indonesia in two terms in 2004-2009 and 2009-2014 This condition has made them to have been away from each other.
As the politician they are not in a close political aspiration though definitely they understand each other. In the Presidential Election of 2014 Democratic Party (founded on September 9, 2001) under the leadership of SBY did not make any support to Prabowo as the Presidential Canidadte.SBY likely wish to be recorded by the history of this country as the only army general who had been successfully run two terms as the President of The Republic of Indonesia (2004-2009 and 2009-20014).
In the Regional Election of Jakarta in 2016 Prabowo as the Chairman of Gerindra Party (founded on February 6, 2008) was supporting Anies-Sandiaga and SBY as the Chairman of the Democratic Party was supporting his son Agus Harimurti Yudhyono – Silvy.
Definitely they were in the situation of rivalry and SBY lost the game, because apparently Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono to be defeated in the election. However speculation has been made by various observers that Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono is prepared for the Presidential election of 2019, though people are realizing Agus Harimurti Yudhono will be too young for the job of President of the Republic of Indonesia a country with 250 million people and its territory as large as the American Continent from San Fransisco to New York.
In the second round of the Regional Election of Jakarta in 2017 SBY also did not give any support to Gerindra Party who led Anies and Sandiaga as the pair of Governor Candidate against Ahok who is supported by the Government Coalition. This retrieving record is just to show SBY has not been close to Prabowo, though definitely they know well each other.
Now SBY is willing to receive Prabowo who ask to meet him. People are expecting whatever the objective of the request of Prabowo the readiness of SBY to meet him has been appreciated as the possible moment for those two eminent leaders of two influence political parties to look for the strategic idea to solve the various existing national crucial condition. Some observers are also in the opinion Prabowo was asking to meet SBY is definitely because SBY as the Chairman of the Democratic Party also did not support the policy of the Government in various problems. People tend to believe Prabowo is trying to check the possibility of cooperation with he Democratic Party to be created to face the Presidential Election of 2019.
In the House of Representative though they are not the member of the Government Coalition but Democratic Party and Gerindra Party are not in the same group of action.
Gerindra Party earlier was the supporter of the Parliamentary Enquete for KPK and Democratic Party did not support the Parliamentary Enquete for KPK.However now the situation has likely changed. Now both Democratic Party and Gerindra Party do not support the Parliamentary Enquete on KPK. But Prabowo comes to SBY likely is not because of the Parliamentary Enquete for KPK but in relation with the Presidential Election of 2019.
Both Democratic Party and Gerindra Party are against the Law on the General Election and Presidential Election. Both of this political parties were Walking Out in the Parliamentary Plenum Meeting to approve The Bill on The General and Presidential Election. Prabowo is definitely wishing to know SBY’s strategic thinking to face the Presidential Eletion of 2019. Based on SBY’s strategic thinking Prabowo will consider the possible cooperation between Gerindra Party and Democratic Party to be established.
Apparently the political objective of Prabowo to meet SBY is an attractive issue and various Political Observers tried to predict what kind of political cooperation will be made to face the General and Presidential Election in 2019.
One Observer is of the opinion though the objective of this meeting is still unclear but the meeting of SBY and Prabowo has clearly materialized and the possible political cooperation could be expected. Prabowo realized to establish the political Coalition to face the Presidential Election of 2019 is still too far but to cooperate legally to come to the Constitution Court could be definitely expected by Prabowo. Prabowo likely is of strong willingness to bring the legal complain on the Law on General Election to the Constitutional Court. Prabowo is expecting SBY will jointly support this legal movement. However apparently people are expecting Prabowo-SBY meeting will means more widely. Beside the political problem people also think that this country is also facing various strategic problem but without clear strategic policy to solve it.
Totally there are four eminent strategic issues faced by this country today, those are : Based on the majority of the political power and the governmental authority The Government as the highest people sovereignty holder to have decided to publish The Government Regulation No 2 of 20127 to replace Law No 17 of 2003 on the dissolution of anti Pancasila Mass organization.
Based on strong political majority power in the House of Representative supported by The Government Coalition ( Golkar Party, The PDI-P, NASDEM Party, HANURA Party, PKB and PPP) The House of Representatives had officially approved by The Law on The General Election and The Presidential Election in 2019.
Based on this new Law on the Presidential Election it is applied the Presidential Threshold of 20 % of the number of Seats or 25 % of the number of the National votes in the General Election.In the plenum meeting of The House of Representatives to approve those two Bills Gerindra Party, PAN Party, PKS and Democratic Party factions were Walking Out for abstain.
The increasing number of the foreign debt of the Country of Indonesia, around tree thousand billion rupiah. People are starting to ask who will be the responsible element of this country to pay this debt and how to pay it. People start to be more pessimistic on this country being able to pay her foreign debt when President Jokowi expressed his idea to make use the Haj/Pilgrimate budget for the financing of the infra structure project. President Jokowi’s idea are clearly rejected by many political figures though President Jokowi idea is legally permitted.
The un-successful effort to eradicate the Corruption that develops dramatically in the country and the existence of KPK in relation with the Parliamentary Enquete on KPK which is not clear objective but people tend to think KPK to have become the powerful State Institution which can do no wrong to have not yet been responded by the Government. This anti corruption issue to have become the crucial political problem in the political scene.
The un predicted meeting between SBY and Prabowo to have been held in the Residence of former President SBY in Cikeas, Bogor, West Jawa on Thursday July 27, 2017.This meeting had lasted smoothly, however there was no likely the release of the complete information to inform the public what is the theme and the result of this meeting.
Observers are of the opinion that people are likely expecting too much to the meeting of Prabowo and SBY who suddenly become the national event expected to present the idea how to solve the various problem of the country to day. Fahry Hamzah Vice Speaker of The House of Representative is not satisfy to the result of the meeting concluding the meeting between SBY and Prabowo is apparently to be poor of idea. This meeting has been apparently only discussing the situation they considered as the manipulation of power by the Government. Accordingly based on mral value Democrat Party and Gerindra Party will urge the Government to rectify her political move. The likely conclusion that made OSO the Chairman of HANURA to be angry because as if the Government Coalition to be considered as immoral.
In his comment concerning his meeting with Prabowo former President SBY was indicating that in the meeting between SBY and Prabowo both of the two political leaders to have discussed the political majority power enjoyed by the Government Coalition.
SBY clearly made strong repeating statement that Democracy should not go un-checked, the implementation of power should be strongly controlled. The statement of former President SBY reminds us to the phrases that says “Power tends to corrupt and Absolute Power Corrupts absolutely” Likely there was analysis the Government to have manipulate its majority power to make the more bigger power.
SBY likely believed that the exploitation of majority power to have been made by the Government to decide a number of the crucial State Decision, such as in the case of the dissolution of mass organization that is considered against the Pancasila ideology without the decision of Court of Justice and the implementation of the Presidential Threshold in the Presidential Election.
In the meantime Prabowo has made his sharp critical comment on the Presidential Threshold of 20% seats and 25 % of national vote as a joke. So the meeting between Prabowo and SBY was to confirm their feeling that the Government to have manipulated the democratic principle neglecting the people’s check and control.
So far not any political party figures of among the Government Coalition to respond the statement of SBY and Porabowo, but apparently President Jokowi himself to have been provoked to respond the comment exposed by SBY and Prabowo, President Jokowi directly to be woke up and firmly tried to respond the complained of Prabowo and SBY on the House of Representative’s approval to the application of the Presidential Threshold of 20 % seats and 25% of national vote.
President Jokowi made the counter attack against Prabowo strongly said the Presidential Threshold had been implemented in the Presidential Election in 2014 so why now it is strongly rejected and to respond SBY comment President Jokowi said everything to have been decided democratically by the House of Representative.
It is only the Chairman of PAN who is still the member of the Government Coalition but he does not support the implementation of the Threshold 20 % of seats and 25 % of national vote saying that The General Election and Presidential Election in 2014 and the General Election in 2019 to be different because the General Election and the Presidential Election in 2019 will be done instantly so it is impossible to use the result of the General Election as the calculation to decide the Presidential Threshold achieved by the respective political party. PAN also suggested President Jokowi to accept wisely the former President SBY’s critical comment.
It is clear the Country of Indonesia is in critical situation waiting for the decision of the Constitution Court about the Presidential Threshold of 20% seats and 25 % of national votes and also the Government Regulation No 2 of 2017 on the dissolution of anti Pancasila mass Organization.
One suggestion has been raised by Observer that Zulkifly Hasan should speak not as the Chairman of PAN Party but as the Speaker of The People’s Consultative Assembly, what we should do to calm down the situation and solve our national problem proportionally. People tend to think the State System should be re-aranged and for that purpose Constitution applied now should be re-amended in accordance to the origin of the Constitution of 1945.
The meeting between Prabowo and SBY is only to strengthen their will to make the legal complain concerning the Law on General and Presidential Election which is applying the Presidential Treshold of 20 % Seats and 25 % of National Votes and definitely wishing to establish the significant coalition in the Presidential Election in 2019. However likely Fahry Hamzah is true, there are various state problems we have to solve.
*) Lieutenant General (Ret) Soedibyo, Political and Security Observer