NasDem Party ready to crown Surya Paloh
Surya elected NasDem chief
The Jakarta Post
, Jakarta | Headlines | Sun, January 27 2013, 9:27 AM
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Lateral lead: The National Democrat (NasDem) Party's election executive Ferry Mursyidan Baldan (left) talks with former party chairman Patrice Rio Capella during a press conference on the sidelines of the party's congress in Jakarta on Saturday. Party founder and chief patron Surya Paloh replaced Patrice despite protests from several members. (JP/Jerry Adiguna)
founder and chief patron Surya Paloh
replaced Patrice despite protests from several members. (JP/Jerry Adiguna)
The fate of the NasDem Party will now depend on whether Surya Paloh
, who took over leadership of the party during its first congress in Jakarta on Saturday
, can set aside his
presidential ambitions to build up the party, an analyst says.
More than 1,000 congress participants unanimously elected Surya
as the new chairman, replacing Patrice Rio Capella, despite objections from party members who wanted the party to be led by a younger politician.
Yunarto Wijaya of Charta Politika said that 62-year-old Surya should focus on uniting the party following the exit of many of its members, including media tycoon Hary Tanoesoedibjo, who resigned from his post as chairman of the party's council of experts in protest of Surya's move to seize control of the party.
is being used for his
own personal ambitions, the party could experience a huge setback.
Surya's electability is lower than the party's, according to several surveys," Yunarto told The Jakarta Post
Surya, the owner of the media group that runs MetroTV and Media Indonesia, left the Golkar Party not long after he was defeated by Aburizal Bakrie in the race for the party's leadership in 2009.
In 2010, Surya established the mass organization National Democrat, the precursor of the NasDem Party, which was then widely seen as an alternative vehicle for Surya's political ambitions.
Yunarto said that the party should not play down Hary's exit, which he
said had triggered other members to follow suit.
The presidential election was not discussed during the congress, let alone an official endorsement of Surya
as NasDem's candidate.
Former NasDem chairman Patrice said that Surya would announce the new NasDem board members in the next two weeks.