គណបក្សដែលត្រូវចងចាំ / A Party to Remember

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A Party to Remember (គណបក្សដែលត្រូវចងចាំ) អត្ថបទជាភាសាអង់គ្លេសរបស់ក្រុមប្រឹក្សាសេរីនិយម និងប្រជាធិបតេយ្យអាស៊ី (CALD) ស្ដីពី សិក្ខាសាលាស្ដីពី ការគ្រប់គ្រងគណបក្សនយោបាយ ដែលសហការរៀបចំដោយក្រុមប្រឹក្សាសេរីនិយម និងប្រជាធិបតេយ្យអាស៊ី (CALD) ជាមួយគណបក្សប្រជាធិបតេយ្យតស៊ូ ឥណ្ឌូនេស៊ី (PDI-P) ដែលជាគណបក្សសមាជិករបស់ CALD និងជាគណបក្សកំពុងកាន់អំណាចនៃប្រទេសឥណ្ឌូនេស៊ី របស់លោកប្រធានាធិបតី Joko Widodo។ ព្រឹត្តិការណ៍នេះ បានរៀបចំឡើងនៅទីក្រុងហ្សាកាតា(Jakarta) ប្រទេសឥណ្ឌូនេស៊ី(Indonesia) មានរយៈពេល ៣ ថ្ងៃ គឺចាប់ពីថ្ងៃទី២៧ ដល់ថ្ងៃទី៣០ ខែតុលា ឆ្នាំ២០២៣។

A party management workshop that was one for the books – made possible by a political party whose management practices deserve to be turned into a book.

This, in essence, is how the recently concluded 8th Party Management Workshop hosted by Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (PDI-Perjuangan) can be best described.  Held on 27-30 October 2023 in Jakarta, Indonesia, the event became one of the most instructive and enjoyable workshops that the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) had the pleasure of co-organizing.

The event would not have been possible without the impeccable support and assistance extended by PDI-Perjuangan, which ensured that workshop participants were well-taken cared of from the time they arrived in Jakarta until their departure. The party also ensured that program was substantive in terms of highlighting best practices in party management based on PDI-Perjuangan’s experiences, and looking at whether they could be replicated by political parties in other countries.

“Imagination is more powerful than knowledge”, said PDI-Perjuangan Secretary General Pak Hasto Kristiyanto, on how the party was able to manage the transition from being an opposition party to becoming the most successful governing party in post-Suharto, Indonesia.  He related, in particular, the importance that PDI-Perjuangan places on educating its cadres.  Pak Hasto said that they have a dedicated party school where party cadres “are trained to become future leaders and public servants in accordance with the party’s ideology.”

The imagination of party officials also led them to introduce a floating hospital which provides medical services to communities of Indonesia’s remote islands. Named after a female hero from the Sultanate of Aceh, the floating hospital has twelve crew members and eight health workers.  Moreover, PDI-Perjuangan was also able to construct a total of 127 party offices all over the country, all of which are under the name of the party and become part of the party’s assets.  According to Pak Hasto, such offices become centers for grassroots democracy and cultural engagement.

Due in part to these innovations and achievements, PDI-Perjuangan has been a recipient of several awards, including the top award given by Indonesia’s Central Information Commission (KIP).  As a testament to how well-managed the party is in terms of administration and human resources, PDI-Perjuangan also received ISO Certificates 55001 in 2014 and 9001 in 2015 – becoming the only party in the Asia Pacific to receive such distinction.

Beyond these recognitions, the party’s most significant achievement should be its contribution to the flourishing of Indonesian democracy. “This journey of Indonesia to becoming one of the world’s most outstanding democratic success stories would not have been possible without the PDI-Perjuangan”, said CALD Secretary General Francis Abaya.  He added that like all parties-in-power, PDI-Perjuangan has received and will continue to receive criticisms, but these are part and parcel of governance.  After all, as Abaya said: “winning is easy, governing is harder.”

During the workshop proper, the participants had the privilege to listen to a number of leaders and experts from both PDI-Perjuangan and the broader CALD network.

Pak Ganjar Pranowo, PDI-Perjuangan presidential candidate and former Central Java governor, highlighted the role of Pancasila as a national ideology and as a way of life. “The party’s strategy has always been rooted in our national ideology… regardless of whether we are in opposition or government”, he said.  For this reason, he noted that in the upcoming presidential campaign, PDI-Perjuangan pledges not to utilize identity politics, group-based politics, black propaganda and radical separatism.

Apart from its commitment to Pancasila, PDI-Perjuangan is also known for its capability to turn crisis into an opportunity.  According Pak Bonnie Triyana, historian and PDI-Perjuangan candidate, when the party lost in the 2004 elections, it used the years when it was in opposition to reorganize and consolidate.  It did this by organizing a task force to evaluate the party’s electoral performance, recruiting intellectuals, forging relations between old and young party members, training party leaders, among others.

One of such leaders is Pak Mochamad Nur Arifin, currently bupati (mayor) of Trenggalek in southern Java.  Pak Mochamad tackled the role of affiliated party organizations, particularly those coming from different sectors like youth and women, as well as those which were organized for specific purposes such as responding to natural disasters. Moreover,  he discussed how he incorporated Pancasila and processes like gotong royong (mutual assistance) in his governance style.

PDI-Perjuangan’s success in the last two general elections was the focus of the presentations of Pak Kiki Taher and Pak Putra Nababan.  Pak Kiki, party campaign strategist, tackled the “rise, fall and resurrection of the PDI-Perjuangan brand” and the role of artificial intelligence (AI).  He noted that the 2024 elections, like the previous elections, will be a data-based battle.  Given the potentials (and pitfalls) of AI, he hinted that it would be a game-changer in terms of managing and analyzing big data in future elections.

Pak Putra, an incumbent member of parliament and communication expert, related PDI-Perjuangan’s journey from being a party which relied heavily on conventional communication to what it is today. He emphasized the role of the party leadership in facilitating this journey – particularly of the chairperson and the secretary general. He credited the chairperson – Ibu Megawati Sukarnoputri – for her moral leadership and for always reminding them that “winning or losing (in elections) is not the main goal.” On the other hand, he noted the role of the secretary general, Pak Hasto, on being the party’s center of political communication.

The different interventions of PDI-Perjuangan’s resource persons were put into perspective by Dr. Julio C. Teehankee’s presentation on the role of political parties in democratizing Asia.  Citing examples drawn from PDI-Perjuangan’s experience, he  highlighted the importance of party institutionalization, defined as the “process in which individual political parties that participate in elections experience an increase in organizational stability and value.”  Needless to say, more institutionalized parties like the PDI-Perjuangan have greater potential to contribute to consolidating and deepening democracy.

The workshop proper culminated with the sharing of key lessons learned among the participants. Facilitated by Lambert Ramirez, Participate PH training manager, participants from Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore Thailand and Timor Leste reflected on the PDI-Perjuangan practices and analyzed their applicability in their respective contexts. Recalling the remarks of FNF Indonesia Project Director Stefan Diederich, this knowledge-sharing on the “importance of parties within a democracy, and also democracy within parties, on institutionalization… on best practices… is a very important process… Taking Indonesia and the PDI-P as an example of a working democracy, we all hope for a better democratic situation in Asia in the future.”   A tour of the mangrove ecotourism center and dinner cruise brought the 2-day workshop activities to a close.

“Indonesia has been an inspiration to many of us in Southeast Asia”, said CALD Chairperson Mardi Seng in his remarks. “Considering the state of democracy in many countries in the sub-region, Indonesia should be proud of what it was able to achieve in a short period of time.  We in CALD are also proud to be associated with the political party which contributed so much in Indonesia’s successful transition to democracy – the PDI-Perjuangan.”

Source: A Party to Remember : CALD | Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats

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