Two leading candidates for chairman post

Airlangga Hartarto
Airlangga Hartarto
Idrus Marham
Idrus Marham

The Speaker of Indonesia's Parliament, Mr Setya Novanto, has been relieved of his duties as chairman of the Golkar party after he was detained for alleged corruption on Sunday.

Mr Novanto, 62, will have to permanently step down from the chairmanship of Golkar if the corruption investigation on him continues. Golkar is the second-biggest party in Indonesia's Parliament.

Here are the two most likely candidates to replace him, as seen by party leaders and analysts.


He is believed to be the candidate most favoured by President Joko Widodo, whose party PDI-P and Golkar are in the ruling coalition.

Mr Airlangga, currently the Industry Minister in Mr Joko's Cabinet, is not likely to face much resistance from the various factions within Golkar.

His earlier political career includes a post as chairman of the Energy, Environment and Technology Parliament Committee between 2006 and 2009 and as Golkar's deputy treasurer.

He has a mechanical engineering bachelor's degree from University of Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta and an MBA from Monash University in Australia.


Mr Idrus was given a mandate personally by Mr Novanto to be acting chairman, and represents the Novanto faction that is seeing growing opposition from the many other factions within the party that want a major reshuffle of the party organisation.

The former student activist holds a doctorate in political science from University of Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta.

Mr Idrus was chairman of the National Committee of Indonesian Youth between 2002 and 2005. He was an elected MP for 2014-2019, but opted to resign to be able to focus his attention on managing Golkar.

Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2017, with the headline 'Two leading candidates for chairman post'. Print Edition | Subscribe