In Conciliatory Tone, SBY Urges Continuity of Jokowi’s Legacy
Jakarta, Indonesianpsost.com – Former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, commonly known as SBY, has urged members of the Democratic Party to continue the positive achievements of his successor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, in a drastic reversal from previous calls for change and accusations of attempts to destabilize the party.
SBY’s remarks on Tuesday came just a day after his private meeting with the president at the Bogor Palace.
Addressing Democratic Party members in the West Java regency of Bandung, SBY emphasized that whoever wins the February presidential election should carry on the positive achievements of the Jokowi government.
“All positive achievements must continue, and the Democratic Party is committed to maintaining positive programs and rectifying any shortcomings,” SBY said, as reported by the Jakarta Globe’s sister publication Beritasatu.
Furthermore, SBY acknowledged President Jokowi’s efforts in correcting issues from the previous administration — SBY’s presidency.
“President Jokowi also corrected a number of things [from the previous administration] which he considered not correctly implemented, and that’s perfectly fine. He is doing what he has to do,” SBY said.
SBY paid a visit to Jokowi’s official residence on Monday for discussions behind closed doors, the details of which remain undisclosed.
When asked by reporters about their meeting on Wednesday, Jokowi maintained that their talks were confidential.
“We met for about one hour and discussed many things, especially about the 2024 elections. What exactly we discussed will remain confidential,” Jokowi responded when visited an event at the Jakarta Convention Center
Earlier, Democratic Party spokesman Herzaky Mahendra clarified that during the meeting, SBY sought to explain the party’s push for “changes.” According to Herzaky, SBY convinced Jokowi that the party would “continue his positive achievements and improve what needs to be improved.”
SBY and his oldest son, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, had brought the Democratic Party to the opposition camp to the government coalition in the House of Representatives since Jokowi’s assumption of office in 2014. Agus, who currently chairs the party, had repeatedly accused a close aide of the president of “attempting to hijack the Democratic Party”.
Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko contested the legitimacy of Agus’ leadership and organized a congress of disgruntled Democratic Party members to challenge it. In this congress, Moeldoko was appointed chairman, a move that SBY and Agus criticized as illegal. The dispute also prompted Agus to question whether the president had endorsed Moeldoko’s maneuver.
Jokowi has consistently stated that the internal conflict within the Democratic Party is not a matter for his presidency. Both the Supreme Court and the Justice Ministry under Jokowi’s administration refused to recognize Moeldoko’s takeover of the party.
In the lead-up to the 2024 presidential election, the Democratic Party, along with two other parties, had formed the Coalition of Changes for Unity, advocating for a departure from the status quo and significant shifts in government policies.
However, in an unexpected turn of events, the Democratic Party withdrew from this coalition last month after presidential candidate Anies Baswedan chose an outsider as his running mate, thereby extinguishing Agus’ hopes of becoming a vice-presidential candidate.
The development led the Democratic Party to jump ship for a rival coalition supporting Defense Minister Parbowo Subianto’s presidential aspirations.