TEMPO.CO, Yogyakarta - Answering a question in a dialogue held at the University of Gadjah Mada, Former Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander Gatot Nurmantyo quipped about the country`s Islamic political parties that are seemingly divided.
The question, asked by a student in the audience, was how should the current Muslim communities replicate the struggle and spirit of ulema and santri (students of Islamic boarding school) during the country’s independence era without being shackled by each group’s interests.
Gatot answered that every party must first stand united to establish an independent power, either economically or politically. “But you can observe the current situation, which bears the question if Islamic political parties have already stood united?” said the former TNI Commander
on Friday, May 4.
“If [Islamic political parties] such as PAN, PKS, PKB, PPP, and PBB realize and unite, they don’t need to think about a presidential or vice presidential candidate first, but tend to think about how they can together serve its people first,” said Gatot Nurmantyo.
However, when asked if he intends to unite these Islamic political parties for the upcoming presidential election, Gatot Nurmantyo diplomatically answered that he currently does not have a vessel, or political party, let alone unite them.