Surya Paloh quits Golkar party

Surya Paloh quits Golkar party

Surya Paloh. (ANTARA/Prasetyo Utomo)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Media mogul Surya Paloh resigned from the Golkar Party of which he has been a member for the past 43 years.

"With good intentions and understanding and so that the Golkar Party will not become confused, I have taken the initiative to resign from the Golkar Party. I sent my resignation letter to the party`s executive board today (Wednesday)," he said at a press conference at the office of the Nasional Demokrat (Nasdem) mass organization.

Surya Paloh`s latest position in Golkar was Advisory Board chairman in 2004-2009.

He said "I took the decision after long consideration. I thought of what is the best for me, for the Golkar Party and the community. It was not an easy decision to make."

He said he had been in Golkar for 43 years developing his position in the party from being a common member and then leading its youth wing and finally being the chairman of the party`s advisory board.

He said he had not found room for his ideas for change in Golkar while his Nasional Demokrat organization was seen as a threat by the party "while the Nasional Demokrat is not intended for metamorphosing into a political party."

He said Golkar could no longer efficiently accommodate progressive ideas which had high moral values and therefore had been abandoned by its followers.

He said this was shown in the 1999 general elections when the Golkar Party could only garner 24 percent of the vote and in 2004 only 20 percent.

"In the 2009 general elections Golkar Party votes again dropped to only 14 percent. This has become the trend. Certainly people must think what has really happened, what has been wrong," he said.

Paloh said he hoped other Golkar cadres who are also members of Nasional Demokrat would not follow suit. "But if they wish to remain to leave I appreciate their political decisions," he said.

He said he had not yet thought of whether he would later join the Nasdem party or other parties. "I am still dedicating myself to Nasional Democrat," he said.

Paloh`s decision followed recent establishment of Nasional Democrat (Nasdem) Party and Golkar`s calls on its cadres in the Nasional Demokrat mass organization to choose to be with Golkar or Nasdem.