Oligarchy in Political Parties and the Dangers to Democracy


BONSERNEWS.com – It is well known that most of the political parties in Indonesia are managed as “CVs” which depend on the general chairman of the party. This statement was made by the former Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Dr. Rizal Ramli.

“If you look back at the fall of the New Order, it seems that the Reform 98 fighters or activists were too euphoric. They were only happy with the fall of Suharto, but did not think about the role of other institutions, including the role of political parties,” said Rizal Ramli in Jakarta, Monday, July 10 2023.

According to Rizal at that time, many student activists demanded that the political parties supporting the New Order be disbanded, by holding demonstrations at the Golkar office and others.

“But at that point we think the parties will adjust. But it turns out that the suggestion that the parties supporting the New Order might be disbanded, if you look at it today, has some truth to it,” he continued.

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According to him, this is because these parties are increasingly showing an internally undemocratic nature where the influence of the chairman is very dominant.

“Everything is regulated by them, including the large amounts of money that go into the pockets of the general chairman of the political party and not the organization,” said Rizal Ramli.

As is known, political parties receive a lot of funding from various parties and they also “quote” funds from the APBN, APBD and BUMN.

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However, most of these funds go into the pockets of the general chairmen of the political parties and do not go into the party’s official income.

“We can no longer tolerate these things. In accordance with the context of our democratic country, it is obligatory and necessary for political parties to exist, but democratization must be managed within the party itself. All authority cannot come from the chairpersons of political parties,” he said .

The chairpersons of the current political parties can fire DPR members at will, so that the 575 members of the DPR are just like a kindergarten where only 9 or 10 chairpersons obey.

“Meanwhile, the general chairman himself is pleased by the authorities through projects for the general chairman, credit for the general chairman and so on,” he explained.

According to Rizal, such a political system can actually undermine democracy. Therefore, after Jokowi, improvements must be made.

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