Grand Coalition Is Not a Guarantee
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo\'s ability to maintain and control his coalition is the key to the success of his second term.
Jokowi-Amin’s coalition government is supported by 74.26 percent of the House. Besides being able to gain a wider political support, a grand coalition can also make government move more slowly
JAKARTA, KOMPAS - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo\'s ability to maintain and control his coalition is the key to the success of his second term. The coalition, which has the support of the majority of legislative members, however, does not guarantee that the government will run more smoothly and effectively.
Of the 575 House seats, the Jokowi-Amin coalition consisting of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the Gerindra Party, the NasDem Party, the National Awakening Party (PKB), and the United Development Party (PPP) control 427 seats or 74.26 percent of seats at the House.
Three parties are almost certainly they will be outside the Jokowi-Amin coalition.
Meanwhile the House’s other 148 seats are controlled by the Democratic Party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), and the National Mandate Party (PAN). As of Tuesday night, there were no cadres from the three parties who were called by Jokowi to the Presidential Palace, Jakarta. Thus, the three parties are almost certainly they will be outside the Jokowi-Amin coalition.
The strength of the Jokowi-Amin coalition in the House today is almost the same as that enjoyed by the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono-Boediono coalition government in 2009-2014, which controlled 75.5 percent of the House’s seats.
However, at that time, political dynamics remained, as seen in the House’s demand to investigate the Century Bank scandal at the end of 2009, which was also supported by a number of political parties from the Yudhoyono-Boediono coalition.
In the context of the formation of the new Cabinet, which is expected to be announced and installed on Wednesday (today), Jokowi called as many as 24 professional and political figures to meet him at the day at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday. On Monday, the President met 11 people. The people called by the President are believed to be appointed as ministers in the new cabinet.
After meeting President Jokowi, former Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko confirmed that PAN, the Democratic Party and the PKS would not join the cabinet. The President only added Gerindra Party as new member of the coalition. "The government needs a counterweight to ensure the control remains in place and the government is healthy," he said.
The chairman of the Jokowi Volunteer Group, Imannuel Ebenezer said, when the volunteers met Jokowi last Sunday night, Jokowi had asked for support from the volunteers to include Gerindra in the coalition.
At that time, Imannuel said, Jokowi also told that all parties wanted to be included in the government. "However, the President does not want, because it is not good for democracy. So Democrats, PKS, and PAN stay outside," he said.
Related to that, PAN executive Yandri Susanto said that PAN was ready to become a force outside the government (opposition). "We will control as part of the counterweight. We support if Pak Jokowi\'s program are good for the people. However, if there is something wrong, it\'s our obligation to express our different opinion," he said.
"Therefore, we remain in opposition. We are responsible to the constituents who chose us in the recent elections,"
Although he was surprised by the fact that Prabowo Subianto would become a minister, Yandri said, Jokowi\'s decision to include Gerindra into the coalition was the prerogative of the president. PKS executive Mardani Ali Sera said he was worried that Gerindra\'s inclination towards the government could lead to disappointment in the community. "Therefore, we remain in opposition. We are responsible to the constituents who chose us in the recent elections," he said.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Democratic Party faction in the House Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono said, Democrats will remain critical when government policies are deemed not in accordance with the interests of the people. "I am not in the context of determining the party’s position. For that reason, we will further listen to the views of the parties," he said.
Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) researcher, Syamsuddin Haris, said that the increase in the number of political parties supporting the government had the potential to threaten the development of democracy because it would bring a greater power to the state.
The concept of a family state which is characterized by a lack of opposition has the potential to emerge. As a result, deviations have the potential to grow because there will be no control.
The Indonesian Corruption Watch coordinator, Adnan Topan Husodo said, with the lack of control against the government, the threat of corruption will also be even greater. "In a family state, the control does not work because the priority is to maintain stability, not law enforcement," he explained.
According to a lecturer of the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, Jakarta, Adi Prayitno, learning from the experience of the Yudhoyono-Boediono administration, a grand coalition often backfire and affect the effectiveness of the government’s working agenda. Government policies and decision-making can be slower because there are many political interests that must be accommodated.
At the same time, the parties supporting the government will also tend to take a position in accordance with their respective interests. Political supports will be always there for the government, according to the ongoing issue.
"A big coalition will gain a wider support but reduce resistance to government policies, which can even lead to new political turmoil in the internal coalition," Adi said. "This period is a challenge on Jokowi\'s management ability to control and maintain the balance of the coalition," he said.
Read more : Cabinet Starts to Take Shape
The challenge is even more apparent because there are parties supporting Jokowi who are believed not fully satisfied with the inclusion of Gerindra. The chairman of NasDem Party, Surya Paloh once said after the inauguration of the president and vice president on Oct. 20, 2019, that if there were no other parties who wanted to become opposition, his party was ready to become opposition.
PKS’s president Sohibul Iman said, during the inauguration ceremony of the president and vice president, Surya Paloh had told him that Nasdem wanted to immediately stay in touch with PKS. "I joked and said whether it means you want to join the PKS as an opposition? Then he [Surya] said, basically we are both critical," said Sohibul. (AGE / IAN / SPW / SHR / NTA / NIA / INK / INA / LAS)