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National Democrat Party / Partai Nasdem

National Democrat Party / Partai Nasdem, led by media mogul Surya PALOH, is a new party, founded 26 July 2011. Paloh was a longtime member of the Golkar board. He is wealthy and owns a number of media interests, including Metro TV and several newspapers. He is a major donor to Golkar's political campaigns and has often served as spokesman of the party. Paloh had singular advantages: he had been closely involved in Golkar politics for many years and knows all the party insiders.

In 2007 Surya Paloh had damaged his reputation by orchestrating the high profile meetings between Golkar and PDI-P--the second largest party in the country. Internal Golkar polling revealed the meetings with PDI-P hurt the party's popularity.

While some pundits saw the new "mass organization" National Democrat (ND) as a challenge to President Yudhoyono, his Partai Demokrat members (PD) said its establishment is good for Indonesia's democracy. Media magnate and Golkar member Surya Paloh launched the political group February 1. Leaders of the group included Jogjakarta Governor Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, rector of Paramadina University Anies Baswedan, and former chair of Muhammadiyah Syafii Maarif. Approximately 12,000 people (many of whom were paid) attended the launch, including prominent political, academic and religious leaders such as Partai Demokrat's Deputy Chair, Ahmad Mubarok. The group's stated purpose was to establish a "mature" democracy that is focused on improving the people's welfare.

Some commentators saw ND as a sign that the Indonesian elite are dissatisfied with Yudhoyono's reform record to date. ND took a page from President Yudhoyono's play book by imitating the colors, theme song and rhetoric of his successful Partai Demokrat. PD members did not see the new group as criticism, however-- its Deputy Chair remarked that ND has "a similar vision for the nation" and that competition is good for its democracy.

Although ND is apolitical, many pundits speculated that Paloh (defeated in his October bid for Golkar chair) was testing the waters for a 2014 presidential election run. One Parliamentarian suggested that that even if the movement turned into a political party down the road, it will not challenge PD: "This group is too focused on the elite. To win the elections you have to win the hearts of the people in the villages, not Jakarta."

NasDem Party Secretary-General Johnny G Plate set a target that his party could enter the top three national votes in the 2019 General Election. In order to achieve these targets, Nasdem will prepare all infrastructure capabilities to move convincingly. "NasDem does have a target in order to win big to the top three in Pileg 2019, in pilpres contest pilpres contest, bringing Joko Widodo back to be a winner," said Jhonny told reporters in JIEXPO, Kemayoran, Jakarta, Friday (17/11/2017).

According to him the target to be achieved has a correlation with the establishment of the Witness Committee NasDem (KSN) who will undergo training. A total of 1.4 million NasDem cadres will be deployed to maintain polling stations (TPS). "The target is expected to generate optimism in the cadre, but the reality must be accompanied by serious work, preparedness, time, mind power, and logistics," he said.

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