Following a leadership rift and internal conflict, some 3,000 cadres of the North Sulawesi chapter of the National Democratic Party (NasDem) announced a mass resignation on Friday, the latest in a series of defections that have plagued the party.
“There are some 3,000 people in total resigning today. The most substantial reason behind our resignation is because we don’t want to damage our reputation any longer in political history as the young people who have no ideology,” the chief patron of the chapter, Hendrik Kawilarang Luntungan, said Friday in Jakarta. “If this continues, we will be seen as a group of opportunistic people who care about nothing but being elected as legislators.”
Hendrik said NasDem no longer represented its founding principles and had strayed from the country’s core values.
Hendrik said Friday’s resignations, though they might dampen the cadres’ political prospects, were carried out for the sake of the South Sulawesi people’s welfare.
Last month up to 5,000 cadres of the West Java chapter of NasDem resigned, dealing another blow to a party already suffering from a leadership rift.
Romli Atmasasmita, the chief patron of the chapter, said the cadres and executives who resigned were mostly from branches in the town of Cimahi and from the districts of West Bandung and Bogor.
Those resignations were announced just a week after hundreds of NasDem cadres in Jakarta similarly declared their resignation.
The defections come in the wake of the high-profile exit of Hary Tanoesoedibjo, a media tycoon and former chairman of the party’s board of advisers, who announced his own resignation on Jan. 21 in light of a decision to name Surya Paloh as the NasDem chairman.
Hary’s entry into the party in November 2011 had been expected to draw support for NasDem, giving the party the backing of two major media empires.
NasDem is the only new party that the General Elections Commission (KPU) has declared eligible to contest in the 2014 legislative elections.