Golkar

Partai Golongan Karya
LeaderMuhammad Jusuf Kalla
Founded1964
Official ideology/
political position
Pancasila, Centre-Right
Official color(s)Yellow


The Party of the Functional Groups (Indonesian: Partai Golongan Karya) is a political party in Indonesia. It is also known as Golkar (Sekretariat Bersama Golongan Karya, or Joint Secretariat of Functional Groups). It was the ruling party during Suharto's regime (1966-1998), and is the biggest party in today's ruling coalition in Indonesia.

Origins

Golkar was formed on October 20, 1964 under the name Sekber Golkar. It was a federation of 97 NGOs which grew over time to 220 organizations. Although it claimed to be apolitical, Sekber Golkar was formed with the backing of senior army officers to counter the increasing influence of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

Organization

Through National Coordinating Meetings in November 1965 and November 1967, the member organizations within Golkar are grouped into seven groups called Core Organizational Groups (KINO). These KINOs are the Union of Multifunctional Mutual Assistance Organizations (Kosgoro), the Indonesian Entrepreneur Workers Organization Centre (Soksi), the Mutual Assistance Families Society (MKGR), the Profession (Profesi), the Defense and Security NGOs (Ormas Hankam), the Enforcers of the Mandate of the Indonesian People (Gakari), and the Development Movement (Gerakan Pembangunan).

Beginning of association With Suharto

In March 1968, General Suharto was officially elected by the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) as Indonesia's second President. Because of his military background, Suharto was not affiliated to any political parties. Personally, Suharto himself never showed much interest in the party politics. However, he realized the need to align himself with a political party if he were to be elected for a second term as President. He had originally shown interest in aligning with the Indonesian National Party (PNI) — the party of his predecessor, Sukarno[1]. But seeking to distance himself from the old regime, Suharto settled on Golkar.

Suharto then ordered his closest associate, Ali Murtopo, to lay the groundwork for Golkar and turn it into an electoral machine. Under Murtopo and with Suharto's supervision, Golkar was turned from a federation of NGOs into a political party. Golkar's appeal lay in the fact that its agenda was non-ideological. It promised to focus on economic development and stability rather than a specific ideological goal[2]. Golkar also began identifying itself with the Government, encouraging civil servants to vote for it as a sign of loyalty to the government.

With that, Golkar declared on 4 February 1970 that it will be participating in the 1971 Legislative Elections. Suharto's choice to align itself with Golkar paid dividends when Golkar won 62% of the votes and with it, an overwhelming majority in the People's Representative Council (DPR). The members of DPR also doubled as members as MPR and as such, Suharto was easily re-elected to a second term as President in March 1973.

Suharto consolidates control

The 1971 Legislative Election success and as a result, his successful re-election to the Presidency was not lost on Suharto who quickly began tightening his grip on Golkar. Control was increased in October 1973 with the Joint Secretariat system being dropped in favor of a more centralized system headed by a Chairman. In October 1978, after his re-election to a 3rd term, Suharto consolidated his control of Golkar by being elected Chairman of the Executive Board (Ketua Dewan Pembina), a position whose authority that supersedes even the Party Chairman. From this position, Suharto had the supreme power in Golkar while leaving the day-to-day running of Golkar to the Chairman.

Aside from dominated by Suharto, Golkar was also an organization dominated by the Army. Out of the four people that served as Golkar Chairman during the New Order, three had military background. It was only in the last years of Orde Baru that Harmoko, a civilian, was elected as Golkar Chairman.

Electoral dominance in the New Order

After the 1971 Legislative Elections victory, Golkar continued to dominate Indonesian politics. In subsequent New Order Legislative Elections, Golkar won 62% (1977), 64% (1982), 73% (1987), 68% (1992), and 74% (1997). Because of Golkar's dominance, the Government could successfully pass its bills without any interference and it was also able to form a Cabinet which consisted of all Golkar members.

After the 1977 and 1997 Legislative Elections, there were claims of electoral fraud launched by the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) and the United Development Party (PPP), who together with Golkar was the only legal political parties after 1973. There was also claims of Golkar members intimidating the electorate to vote for Golkar.

Factions

During Orde Baru, Golkar was divided into three factions:
  • The ABRI faction: Consisted of members of the Indonesian military who under Suharto played a dominant role in political affairs. This faction was headed by the ABRI Commander and was commonly known as the A faction
  • The Bureaucrats (Birokrasi) faction: Consisted of Golkar members who belonged within the Government bureaucracy. This faction was headed by the Home Affairs Minister and was commonly known as the B faction
  • The Groups (Golongan) faction: Consisted of Golkar members who were neither members of ABRI or the bureaucracy. This faction was headed by the Golkar Chairman and was commonly known as the G faction
These three factions work closely together to gain consensus and in the case of nominating a Presidential candidate it was the heads of these three factions who went to inform the candidate (which until 1998 was Suharto) that he had just been nominated as Golkar's Presidential candidate. The three factions did not always work together however. In 1988, the ABRI faction had a problem with nominating Sudharmono as Vice President.

The factions disappeared along with the fall of the New Order.

Golkar in Reformasi

With Suharto's fall from power in May 1998, Golkar quickly sought to adapt and reform itself. In July 1998, a Special National Congress was held to elect the next Chairman of Golkar. The congress were dogged by protests by both pro-Suharto and anti-Suharto groups. Suharto himself did not come to the congress. In the contest that followed, Akbar Tanjung emerged as the new Chairman of Golkar after beating Army General Edi Sudrajat. It was the first time that a Golkar Chairman was elected democratically rather than appointed by the Chairman of the Executive Board.

Under Akbar, the Executive Board was abolished and replaced by an Advisory Board which had considerably less authority.

1999 Legislative Elections

In 1999, Golkar lost it first Legislative Elections to Megawati Sukarnoputri's PDI-P. Golkar won 20% of the votes and was the runner-up in the Legislative Elections. Despite losing the Legislative Elections, Golkar was still able to secure the Tanjung's election as Head of DPR.

1999 MPR General Session

October 1999 would see the MPR assemble for its General Session during which a President and a Vice President would be elected. It was widely expected that Golkar would support Jusuf Habibie in his bid for a 2nd term as President. Before Habibie could be nominated however, he was required to deliver an accountability speech, a report delivered by the President to the MPR at the end of his term. The MPR would not ratify the accountability speech and it was revealed that some Golkar members had voted against ratifying the speech.

Golkar would get its revenge on PDI-P in the Presidential Elections. Although PDI-P had won the Legislative Elections, Golkar joined forces with the Central Axis, a political coalition put together by MPR Chairman Amien Rais, to nominate and successfully secure the election of Abdurrahman Wahid as President. Golkar however, was unable to stop the election of Megawati as the Vice President.

Golkar during Wahid's Presidency

Golkar was rewarded for its support of Wahid by having its members appointed to ministerial positions in Wahid's Cabinet. Much like those who had supported Wahid, Golkar would grow disillusioned with Wahid. In April 2000, Jusuf Kalla, a Golkar member who held position as Minister of Industries and Trade was sacked from his position. When Golkar enquired as to why this was done, Wahid claimed it was because of corruption but never backed up his claim. In July 2001, Golkar, along with its Central Axis allies would hold an MPR Special Session to replace Wahid with Megawati as President.

2004 Legislative Elections

By 2004, the reformist sentiments that had led PDI-P to victory in the 1999 Legislative Elections had died down. Many were disappointed with what Reformation had achieved thus far and were also disillusioned with Megawati's Presidency. With that, they all turned back to Golkar for the 2004 Legislative Elections. In this election, Golkar emerged victorious with 21% of the votes with PDI-P coming second.

2004 Presidential Elections

In 2003, a constitutional amendment had been passed which changed the Presidential election system. Starting from 2004, the President and Vice President would be elected directly by the People instead of by the MPR General Session.

Unlike the other political parties who had one person as their Presidential Candidate from the start, Golkar had five. In April 2004, Golkar held a National Convention to decide who would become Golkar's Presidential Candidate. These five were Akbar Tanjung, General Wiranto, Lieutenant-General Prabowo, Aburizal Bakrie, and Surya Paloh. Akbar won the first round of elections but Wiranto emerged as the winner and the Golkar Presidential Candidacy in the second round. Wiranto would choose Solahuddin Wahid as his running mate.

April 2004 would also see Jusuf Kalla go his own way after he was chosen as Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's running mate.

The Presidential Elections were held on 5th July 2004. The first round of elections was won by Yudhoyono/Kalla who together with the Megawati/Hasyim pair would contest the run-off in September 2004. Wiranto/Wahid came second and there were allegations of disunity within the Party with Akbar not fully supporting Wiranto after losing the Presidential Nomination to him.

In August 2004, Golkar announced that together with PDI-P, PPP, Reform Star Party (PBR) and Prosperous Peace Party (PDS) they are forming a National Coalition to back Megawati to win the run-off. Further infighting would dog Golkar in its bid to back Megawati to its second term as Fahmi Idris led a group of Golkar members in defecting and throwing their support behind Yudhoyono and Kalla. Fahmi was expelled from Golkar and would not take his seat in the DPR which he had been elected to in April 2004.

At the Presidential Run-Off in September 2004, Yudhoyono emerged victorious over Megawati to become Indonesia's 6th President. Jusuf Kalla, who had gone his own way back in April 2004, was now the Vice President.

The 2004 National Congress

Although he had overwhelmingly won the Presidency, Yudhoyono was still weak in the DPR. His own Democratic Party had only won 7% in the Legislative Elections and even combined with other parties who had aligned themselves with the new Government, they still had to contend with the Legislative muscles of Golkar and PDI-P who now intended to play the role of opposition.

With a National Congress to be held in December 2004, Yudhoyono and Kalla had originally backed Head of DPR Agung Laksono to become Golkar Chairman. When Agung was perceived to be too weak to run against Akbar, Yudhoyono and Kalla threw their weight behind Surya Paloh. Finally, when Paloh was perceived to be to weak to run against Akbar, Yudhoyono gave the green light for Kalla to run for the Golkar Chairmanship.

This was a widely controversial move. Up to that point, Yudhoyono had not let members of his administration hold a concurrent position in political parties to prevent the possible abuse of power. There was also complains by Wiranto who claimed that some months earlier, Yudhoyono had promised to support him if he runs for the Golkar Chairmanship.

On 19th December 2004, Kalla became the new Golkar Chairman with over 50% of the votes. Akbar, who had expected to win a second term as Golkar Chairman was defeated with 30% of the votes. Agung and Surya, who Yudhoyono and Kalla had backed earlier, became the Party Vice Chairman and the Chairman of the Advisory Board, respectively.

Kalla's new appointment as Chairman of Golkar significantly strengthened Yudhoyono's Government in Parliament and leaves PDI-P as the only major opposition party in the DPR.

List of Golkar Chairmen

  • Brig. Gen. Djuhartono (1964-1969)
  • Maj. Gen. Suprapto Sukowati (1969-1973)
  • Maj. Gen. Amir Murtono (1973-1983)
  • Lt. Gen. Sudharmono (1983-1988)
  • Lt. Gen. Wahono (1988-1993)
  • Harmoko (1993-1998)
  • Akbar Tanjung (1998-2004)
  • Jusuf Kalla (2004-)

External links

Notes

1. ^ Elson, Robert [2001]. Suharto: A Political Biography. UK: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, p. 186. ISBN 0 521 77326 1. 
2. ^ Elson, Robert [2001]. Suharto: A Political Biography. UK: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, p. 187. ISBN 0 521 77326 1. 
Jusuf Kalla (born Watampone, South Sulawesi; May 15, 1942) is the current Vice President of Indonesia and Chairman of the Golkar Party.

Early life

Jusuf Kalla was born on 15th May 1942 in Watampone, South Sulawesi.
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The centre-right is a political term commonly used to describe or denote individuals, political parties or organisations (such as think tanks) whose views stretch from the centre to the right on the left-right spectrum, excluding far right stances.
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Indonesian}}} 
Writing system: Latin alphabet 
Official status
Official language of: Indonesia
Regulated by: Pusat Bahasa
Language codes
ISO 639-1: id
ISO 639-2: ind
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Indonesian (
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political party is a political organization that seeks to attain political power within a government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. Parties often espouse a certain ideology and vision, but may also represent a coalition among disparate interests.
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National ideology: Pancasila[1]
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Suharto GCB (born June 8, 1921) is a former Indonesian military and political leader. He served as a military officer in the Indonesian National Revolution, but is better known as the long-reigning second President of Indonesia, holding the office from 1967 to 1998.
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non-governmental organization (NGO) is a legally constituted organization created by private persons or organizations with no participation or representation of any government.
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Suharto GCB (born June 8, 1921) is a former Indonesian military and political leader. He served as a military officer in the Indonesian National Revolution, but is better known as the long-reigning second President of Indonesia, holding the office from 1967 to 1998.
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The Indonesian National Party (Partai Nasional Indonesia/PNI) is the oldest political party in Indonesia, established on July 4, 1927, when Sukarno, a young engineer at the time, started to form a movement with that name.
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Sukarno (June 6, 1901 – June 21, 1970) was the first President of Indonesia. He helped the country win its independence from the Netherlands and was President from 1945 to 1967, presiding with mixed success over the country's turbulent transition to independence.
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Ali Murtopo (Blora, Central Java, 23 September 1924 - Jakarta, 15 May 1984) was a prominent Indonesian general and political figure during the first half of General Suharto's New Order regime.
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civil servant or public servant is a civilian career public sector employee working for a government department or agency. The term explicitly excludes the armed services, although civilian officials will work at "Defence Ministry" headquarters.
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Indonesia

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Indonesia

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Politics and government of
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Sudharmono (12 March 1927 – 25 January 2006) was Indonesia's fifth vice president, and was in office during the period 1988 - 1993.

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Sudharmono was born 12th March 1927 in Gresik, East Java.
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Akbar Tanjung (born Sibolga, North Sumatra; August 14, 1945) is an Indonesian politician who is a former chairman of Golkar party. He was the head of the People's Representative Council (DPR) from 1999 to 2004. He also held several ministerial posts in the government.
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Diah Permata Megawati Setiawati Soekarnoputri (born January 23, 1947), was President of Indonesia from July 2001 to October 20, 2004. She was the country's first female President, and the first Indonesian leader born after independence.
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