TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Democrat Party’s secretary-general Hinca Pandjaitan said the grand presidential campaign held by the Prabowo Subianto–Sandiaga Uno ticket on Sunday, was teeming with messages of identity politics.
“Before we mentioned it, we deemed [the campaign] was infested with identity politics. So we reminded, there's nothing wrong with criticism despite being a coalition member. The Democrat Party has the reponsibilities to maintain the correct path,” said Hinca during a press conference at the Democrat Party’s central executive board (DPP) office in Central Jakarta, April 8, 2019.
Earlier reports said Democrat Party chairman Susilo “SBY” Bambang Yudhoyono sent a letter to three Democrat executives containing his criticism against the concept of holding a grand campaign that was seemingly exclusive and touting identity politics.
According to Hinca, SBY’s letter represented the opinions of most Democrat constituents that were against a concept that highlighted certain symbols.
Earlier, SBY sent a letter to Democrat’s honorary council chairman Amir Syamsuddin, deputy chairman Syarief Hasan, and secretary-general Hinca Pandjaitan and ordered the three to remind Prabowo to promote the spirit of unity in diversity in the latter’s grand campaign.
“Because I think what will be done in the grand campaign at the GBK (Gelora Bung Karno stadium) is unusual and does not reflect a national campaign that is inclusive, [thus] through the leadership elements of the Democrat Party I am seeking confirmation whether the news that I heard is true,” SBY wrote.
The former president also called for a campaign that steered clear of identity show of force, whether it was based on religions, ethnics, ideologies or extreme political polarization.
IQBAL TAWAKAL LAZUARDI (CONTRIBUTOR)