Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Offer of Power-Sharing and Megawati's Rejection

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Offer of Power-Sharing and Megawati's Rejection

Article excerpt

A number of reconciliation efforts were launched by Gus Dur, or by those who were concerned that his impeachment would bring chaos, as it was feared that many of the President's supporters would take offence at his dismissal. Particular attention was paid to reconciling the President with Vice-President Megawati Sukarnoputri, the leader of the largest party in Parliament, the PDI-P (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia-Perjuangan, or Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle). A number of power-sharing proposals were said to be in the offing. Efforts to mediate between the two leaders still took place as late as the end of June, ahead of the scheduled MPR impeachment proceeding in early August. But the response from Megawati had been less than favourable. Megawati and the PDI-P's rejection of Gus Dur's power-sharing proposal was based on the lack of clarity of the proposal itself and its apparent half-heartedness. The presidential decree on the transfer of power to the Vice-President, issued following the MPR's annual session in 2000, merely involved routine and procedural matters. The power of appointment and the setting out of policy directions remained firmly in the hands of Gus Dur. Following the 2000 decree, Gus Dur had again replaced a number of Cabinet ministers with people deemed loyal to him. Already angered by Gus Dur's failure to share power, it came as no surprise that Megawati treated approaches for power-sharing in 2001 with suspicion and scepticism. …

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