A number of Golkar executives share mixed feelings over the appointment of Rizal Mallarangeng as one of the party's central board chairmen.
A Golkar senior member, Zaenal Bintang, could not hide his disappointment and told The Jakarta Post that the decision to appoint Rizal as one of the party's central board chairmen was "humiliating".
"His involvement in the party's leadership structure has spoiled the party. He goes around from one party to another. He was also once involved with the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), he is nothing but an opportunist," he said in Jakarta on Friday.
Zaenal also said that Aburizal Bakrie, as a chairman, had degraded and insulted all of the hard work done by genuine Golkar members by appointing Rizal.
"Therefore, I urge true Golkar members to stand together and demand that Rizal step down from his post," he said.
Aburizal named Rizal as the head of Golkar’s think tank department on Thursday, after the former managed to secure the party's chairmanship by defeating Surya Paloh, Tommy Soeharto and Yuddy Chrisnandi.
A member of Yuddy's success team, Indra Piliang, said that he was not "hurt" by Rizal's appointment, because as part of the losing team, he had to accept whatever was coming to him.
"We have to admit that Rizal is the biggest success story in the nation's political scene this year," he said.
Rizal was considered by many as a representation of the Democratic Party within Golkar.
He was part of the success team that managed to secure Democratic Party Chief Patron Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's re-election during the July presidential election.
Democratic Party elite, however, said that they did not “smuggle” Rizal into Golkar, because he held no official structural post at the Democratic Party.(hdt)