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Published: Tuesday December 3, 2013 MYT 10:44:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday December 3, 2013 MYT 10:46:26 PM

Golkar party aims to emulate BN

KUALA LUMPUR: Indonesia’s Golkar party plans to establish a ruling coalition with other political parties modeled after Barisan Nasional if it wins the country’s elections next year, said its chairman Aburizal Bakrie.

Aburizal, who is the party’s presidential election candidate, said he had for many years been a “secret admirer” of Umno and Barisan as well as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who had shown how a country like Malaysia could be brought forward under the framework of a political coalition.

Golkar is Indonesia’s biggest and oldest political party, which is heading into the country’s legislative election in April 2014, followed by presidential polls in July.

“If my party wins both elections, I will lead a coalition of parties and if possible, I will persuade some of them to establish a strong permanent coalition using Umno and Barisan Nasional as our model,” Aburizal said at an international forum held ahead of the Umno annual general assembly on Tuesday.

The forum, in its fourth year, was themed “The Politics of Moderation Accomodates and Balances Competing Principles Lead to Peace and Stability”.

It was attended by 121 participants from 31 political parties in 25 countries, including the Palestine National Movement, Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Communist Party of China.

“I don’t know if it is possible to build a permanent coalition in my nation, but at least I am going to give it a try because I think to govern a big and plural country like Indonesia, it is better to do it with unified forces,” said Aburizal, 67, one of Indonesia’s wealthiest and most successful native (pribumi) businessman and a former Cabinet minister.

Aburizal said Indonesia’s evolving democracy needed a powerful guardian of unity and progress in the form of a political coalition.

“Otherwise, Indonesia will continue to be perpetually pulled in different directions. So, let us see how my party can move forward in our efforts to set up a coalition,” he said.

Tags / Keywords: Golkar, Umno, Politics

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