Exclusive, Acting PPP Chairman Muhammad Mardiono Is Aware That Not All Cadres Support His Leadership

Becoming an ideal leader is not an easy matter. Not everyone supports it even if they are in the same line. Acting Chairman of the United Development Party (PPP) Muhammad Mardiono. He has no ambition to continue his position as captain of the party bearing the Kaaba symbol. The main focus is completing the term of office until the end of the term of service in 2025 and guiding the management towards the next PPP conference.


The 2024 presidential and legislative elections have been held, after quick counting and manual counting, the General Election Commission (KPU) determined the results of the presidential election which was won by pair 02 Prabowo Subianto and Gibran Rakabuming Raka.

Meanwhile, the PPP political party stated that the KPU did not meet the parliamentary threshold of 4%. The problem is that the national votes that can be collected are only 5,878,777 votes or the equivalent of 3.87%. However, PPP has not received the results of the determination which is the reason for the first time in their history they were thrown out of Senayan.

That's why, said Muhammad Mardiono, PPP submitted a General Election Results Dispute (PHPU) request to the Constitutional Court. They carried out a recount from the TPS to the national level. "After the reports from various regions came in, it turned out that the difference in the calculation had ballooned to around 600,000 votes. This is what we are fighting for and suing at the Constitutional Court. How come there is so much difference? "Where have the voices of the people gone who have channeled their aspirations through PPP," he said.

The party's declining vote share and not meeting the parliamentary threshold resulted in sharp criticism of Mardiono and the management. However, he put his weight behind the election results that have been announced and the PHPU efforts that are currently underway. "I will be responsible for the results of the 2024 presidential and legislative elections in the hereafter," he stressed to Edy Suherli, Bambang Eros, and Rifai from VOI who met him at the PPP DPP office, Menteng, Central Jakarta recently. Here is the full excerpt.

That's why the Acting PPP Chairman Muhammad Mardiono did not accept the KPU's calculations, and submitted a General Election Results Dispute (PHPU) request to the Constitutional Court. (Photo Bambang Eros, DI Raga Granada VOI)

In the 2024 election, PPP did not reach the parliamentary threshold, this is a first in history, what is your evaluation of the democratic party this time?

The KPU has indeed announced that PPP has not reached the parliamentary threshold of 4%. The KPU count of PPP's national vote acquisition was 5,878,777 votes or the equivalent of 3.87%. The calculation results announced by the KPU were the basis for announcing that PPP had not passed the parliamentary threshold. This count is different from the results of the PPP's internal count, therefore we submitted a General Election Results Dispute (PHPU) request to the Constitutional Court. We carried out the recount in stages from the TPS to the national level.

What are the results of the internal PPP calculation?

From the calculation results announced by the KPU, we initially calculated that the difference was around 200,000, which we stated at the press conference on April 20. After all the reports from various regions came in, it turned out that the difference in the calculation had ballooned to around 600,000 votes. This is what we are fighting for and suing at the Constitutional Court. How come there is so much difference? Where have the voices of the people gone who have channeled their aspirations through PPP?

Are you and the PPP legal team  confident that you can win this lawsuit?

Our constitution mandates that disputes over election results belong to the Constitutional Court. That's why we are enthusiastic, because the hard work of all cadres, administrators from the bottom up to the national level is not in vain. Our different calculations are not without basis, this is from vote collection and C1 from TPS to the national level. We are confident we can prove what we claim. This means that if our lawsuit is won, the PPP's vote will be above the parliamentary threshold. Pray that our lawsuit is successful and that PPP can go to Senayan.

What did the PPP lack when facing elections, so that the results were far from expectations?

A year before the election was held, all cadres and legislative candidates had already moved. They socialize the programs that the party will carry during the elections. Also socialize individual legislative candidates' programs when competing in their respective electoral districts.

You made a statement that you will be held accountable for the results of the elections and legislative elections in the afterlife, what does that mean? Isn't this a matter of the world?

Indeed, what we do is a worldly activity. But in our view as a party based on Islam, what we do in this world will be accountable for in the afterlife. That is my moral responsibility and that of the party ranks. It is in that context that I make the statement. So I will be responsible for the results of the 2024 election in this world and the hereafter.

I also believe that everything done in this world will be accounted for in the afterlife. Before going to the afterlife, we have to pass through this world first. Our provisions for the afterlife are obtained from this world.

In other parties there are figures who are party icons. In PPP, who is the icon?

This PPP was founded by ulama who were a fusion of 4 Islamic parties on January 5 1973: the Nahdlatul Ulama Party (NU), the Islamic Party Tarbiyah Islamiyah Association (PERTI), the Indonesian Islamic Syarikat Party (PSII) and the Indonesian Muslim Party (PARMUSI). There are many figures in the PPP who have passed down the struggle to future generations. I was once invited by my mother to visit my uncle who, after the lecture, didn't come home, he was detained by the Koramil or Kodim. There is also the Chairman of the Sharia Council, KH Mustafa Aqil Siradj, he is our teacher's son-in-law; KH Maimun Zubeir (late). There is also Mr. Zarkasi Nur, Chairman of the PPP Honorary Council. He is a witness to the founding of the PPP which still exists today. They continue to guide us in running the party.

The difference between PPP's internal calculations and the KPU according to Acting PPP Chairman Muhammad Mardiono received more than 600,000 votes, the question is why is there such a big gap? (Photo Bambang Eros, DI Raga Granada VOI)

The presence of Sandiaga Uno, who is young, energetic and has a business background, is actually quite promising. How big are the party's expectations from his presence?

Before joining PPP he was already active in Gerindra. We hope that Mr. Sandi's joining PPP will have an impact on the party because of his experience and reputation in politics. He was Mr. Prabowo's vice presidential candidate, Deputy Governor of DKI Jakarta and etc. Our expectations are very high.

After the election was held, were the results as expected?

Frankly, not yet, because maybe the time is too short, not yet one year. After joining, we mandated him to become Chairman of the National Bapilu. I alone have served 26 years from serving as a DPC administrator until now Acting The PPP chairman has not been able to do much. In making decisions, even though I am trusted as the captain, it is still done in a collegial collective manner.

Before the election, has the party taken an inventory of the problems in society, then processed them into issues that the party hopes can be resolved?

Facing the election, PPP offers the concept of low prices, easy work and a blessed life. This is the people's main livelihood. For more than a year I went to communities from Aceh to Papua, I interacted with the community, ulama, Islamic boarding school students, MSMEs, fishermen, etc. I have met many people in every province I visited. They really responded, even in various places I also provided the assistance that the community needed.

Ahead of yesterday's election there were two things that were most highlighted, firstly the very massive social assistance and secondly, the issue of the dawn attack or money politics, did this affect the PPP's vote share?

Every political step will be intersected with issues occurring around it, such as social assistance and money politics. What kind of influence it has, it is different in each region. In city politics, money has no significant influence. But in a significant village. This is a violation, but what kind of supervision is there? In cities it can still be monitored, in villages, let alone remote villages, it is very difficult.

Among legislative candidates we hear the term vote shopping, a euphemism for money politics, have you heard this too?

Yes, that's an issue I also heard. If this is the case, those who have strong funds or financing have the potential to win. But not all of them are like that. The problem is that there are our cadres who don't have sufficient funding but can get through to the legislature. This means that not everyone is like that. But the practice of money politics is very worrying for the sustainability of democracy. Hopefully in the future we can slowly eliminate it. We need the commitment and honesty of politicians and the people in the practice of democracy.

You are still Acting. Has the PPP chairman prepared himself for the next term of office?

My focus is still on completing my duties as executor until the service period ends in 2025. So there are no plans to continue my duties. I will convey this management to the mukhtamar. As for whether I want to continue or not, I'm not thinking in that direction. I leave it to the sovereignty holders in the party; DPC, DPW and so on administrators will determine who the next leader will be.

If asked whether I want to continue the answer is no. That in politics there is competition. So I haven't thought about continuing my work yet. Regarding positions, I am not too ambitious. Because the position is a mandate, there is no need to pursue it.

Have you observed that there have been attempts to shake up your leadership, especially after the election was over and the PPP was declared not to have passed the parliamentary threshold?

I have been with PPP for 26 years, so movements like this are commonplace. Not only in PPP but also in other organizations too. In leadership, not 100 people will all like it, there will definitely be a group of people who don't like it, that's normal.

So at the next mukhtamar, are you ready to be re-elected if the owner of the sovereignty proposes?

Until now I have no intention of going there. I have the responsibility to deliver the transition to leadership in a better direction than now. That is the responsibility of a leader, he must think not only for himself, but also for bigger things. Moreover, since the 1977 election until now the PPP vote trend has continued to decline. However, in the 2024 election this will be the smallest decline, from 4.5% to 3.8%. In the future, we must carry out total reform so that PPP can be better.

Will you support the candidates who will compete in the upcoming mukhtamar?

I will support everything 1,000%. I will greet them with a green carpet, for those who want to fastabiqul khirot, compete in goodness. They will restore the greatness of the PPP in accordance with the ideals of the founders of this party. This party was founded as a forum for the struggle of the Islamic ummah with the goal of bringing prosperity to the ummah.

Is it true that PPP has approached Prabowo to join the government coalition?

We have heard many statements from Mr. Prabowo or his team after the presidential election, which will embrace all parties in his government. I really respect that, because building a great country like Indonesia cannot be done with one's own strength, it must involve all elements of the nation. In the past, Mr. Prabowo was also Mr. Jokowi's rival, but in the end he also joined the government. Maybe the pattern that previously occurred between Mr. Jokowi and Mr. Prabowo will be implemented again now.

If you have contacted me specifically to get involved in the new government, then yes, not yet. Political communication between parties supporting President Jokowi's government continues to be maintained. The problem is that in the last presidential election, PPP formed a coalition with PDIP, Perindo, Hanura and supported the candidate pair Ganjar Pranowo - Mahfud MD. Then there are still more stages in the Constitutional Court that must be passed, PPP has submitted a PHPU application.

So does it not rule out the possibility that PPP will actually be involved in the government coalition?

Determining whether or not to join a coalition cannot be done unilaterally. The problem is that there were several parties involved in winning the previous candidate pair 02. So you have to sit down together before deciding.

Frankly, we are currently still focused on facing the trial at the Constitutional Court regarding the PHPU that we are proposing. We have to prepare evidence, witnesses and everything else for the trial. We will present the truth before the court. Thank you for the support from all parties for the PHPU that we are proposing. We hope that what we are trying to achieve will bear fruit. The judge can decide according to the existing facts, and we as a party can continue our work in Senayan.


Muhammad Mardiono, Between Entrepreneurs, Politicians and State Duties

Firmly, Acting PPP Chairman Muhammad Mardiono said  that he would be responsible in the world and the hereafter regarding the PPP's vote results in the 2024 election. (Photo Bambang Eros, DI Raga Granada VOI)

Although popular as a politician, but Acting Chairman of Persatuan Pembangunan Party (PPP) Muhammad Mardiono will not leave his early profession as an entreprenenur. This is his foothold in earn a living. Because in other two professions; as a politician and state duties, becoming a member of presidential advisory council and continued to be Presidential Special Staff in the field of Cooperation on Poverty Alleviation and Food Security, he could not earn a living, even on the contrary he spent money.

Mardiono has been an entrepreneur or in his own language as a trader since he was young. And he will continue to play this profession until the end of his life. “Because through this profession I can earn a living for myself, my wife and children. This is the main profession which is the backbone of my life," said the man born in Yogyakarta, July 9 1957.

Meanwhile, the other two professions are struggle and service. This means he cannot earn a living through both professions. "For me, the political stage and duties of President Jokowi are struggle and service for the ummah, nation and state. This place is not for making a living," he said.

As a politician, according to him, his job is to unite the people. "The duty of politicians is to compete in goodness to unite the ummah so that they have good representation in the Regency/City, Provincial and National level legislative institutions," said the Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) Banten Province, for the 2007-2012 period and 2012-2017.

Not only in the legislative body, the ummah must also have representation in the executive body. "The aim is that the Regent or Mayor, Governor and President who are appointed after being elected can fight for aspirations and goals in realizing people's welfare," he explained.

Economy to Support the Fight

For Acting PPP Chairman Muhammad Mardiono's political stage and state duties as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council and Special Presidential Envoy as a platform for struggle and service. (Photo Bambang Eros, DI Raga Granada VOI)

To become a reliable politician, you don't just have to have knowledge and skills in oration. The main thing that must be resolved is stability in the economic sector. In Mardiono's context, he has started his profession as a businessman who is the backbone for supporting his family and also financing his struggle in the political arena and carrying out special tasks from the state.

For Mardiono, politics is a means of struggle, therefore he does not agree if a politician makes politics his goal in earning a living.

"That political office has its fruits, those who are elected as people's representatives or executive officials receive salaries and facilities from the state, which is normal. But that's not the goal. "So it is not appropriate for a politician to seek work through political channels," said the CEO and owner of PT Buana Centra Swakarsa (BCS), which operates in the services and logistics sector.

Politics, continued Mardiono, requires money. “If politicians don't have the funds or logistics, it's difficult to fight for the ummah. "In worship, we need money, to pray we have to perform ablution, we need water, which means we need money," he explained, giving an example.

Even though his work on the political stage has received support from his wife and children, until now none of his children are interested in the political stage. “My children have different interests from me. They prefer the business world. Until now, no one has been involved in politics, running as a legislative candidate or candidate for Regent/Mayor," said Mardiono, whose business has nothing to do with the politics he is involved in.

Don't Be Allergic to Politic 

Acting PPP Chairman Muhammad Mardiono said he didn't look for fortune in political field, on the contrary he sacrificed to fund his political activity. (Photo Bambang Eros, DI Raga Granada VOI)

Becoming a politician, said Mardiono, is a choice. However, young people should not be allergic to politics. "The problem is that our country has chosen to become a democracy, so we should not be allergic to politics. Democracy is a tool of struggle for the future of our people, nation and country," said the man who fought from DPC PPP until now serving as Acting Chairman of PPP.

However, before entering the political stage, you must prepare yourself. “Don't speculate in the political arena. So prepare as best as possible first, then jump into the political stage. If you just speculate, it will be high risk. If prepared well the results will be as planned," he said.

What Mardiono noted was that politics is a field for struggle, not a field for seeking fortune. “You have to set your mindset first, that politics is a struggle. Don't try to seek your fortune through political channels. If your goal is to make a profit, become an entrepreneur or trader," he said.

Muhammad Mardiono said that being a politician still carries a lot of risks. Many politicians have been caught in corruption cases. However, as long as you adhere to political rules and principles as a means of struggle, not a means of seeking wealth, there is little chance of falling into the trap of corruption and other crimes. "There are political risks that occur due to accidents and there are risks that are done intentionally," he said.

"Indeed, what we do is a worldly activity. But in our view as a party based on Islam, what we do in this world will be accountable for in the afterlife. That is my moral responsibility and that of the party ranks. It is in that context that I make the statement. So I will be responsible for the results of the 2024 election in this world and the hereafter,"

Muhammad Mardiono