Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wives fighting for Husband's Office

I believe that Polygamy marriage is a personal matter of the man and woman who are involved in such kind of marriage.       

As long as such marriage is done according to the national laws, regulations and traditions in Indonesia and do not cause disturbances to society, and those involved do not hold public offices, I really don't care.

It is for this reason that I was very surprised when I read on The Jakarta Globe (below) about two wives of the Resident of Kediri, East Java, competing against each other in a regional election to replace their husband in office.

Claws Out as Two Wives Fight to Replace Husband in Office

What happens when two wives of an incumbent district head vie to replace their outgoing husband?

Hostility comes out into the open.

And that is exactly what is happening in the election in Kediri, East Java.

Haryanti is the first wife of district head Sutrisno. Among others, she will be running against Nurlaila, her husband’s younger wife.

Haryanti has the support of four political parties — the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the Golkar Party, the United Development Party (PPP) and the National Awakening Party (PKB).

Nurlaila’s ticket is being backed by the National Mandate Party (PAN) and some other factions not represented in the national legislature.

The hostility between the two wives was evident on Thursday when all the candidates were invited to explain their vision and mission at the Bukit Daun Hotel in Kediri.

It got off to a bad start when first wife Haryanti refused to shake hands with Nurlaila. 

As a consequence, a member of the audience threw a plastic glass of water at the candidates. It was not clear who the target was, as it failed to hit any of the three hopefuls. But chaos ensued.

The head of the Kediri General Elections Commission (KPU), Agus Edi Winarto, said he had tried his best to hold a debate among candidates before the elections on Wednesday.

Agus said he did not believe there was a political motive behind the incident and he was certain the candidates would behave themselves in the future.

He acknowledged the debate had been designed to prevent the candidates from confronting one another head on.

“We designed it with a mediator so that they could not directly argue against each other, in the hope that they would not try to attack each other,” Agus said.

Hostility between the two wives has been obvious for a long time.

During a presentation of the candidates’ vision and mission before Kediri’s Regional Legislative Council last month, the two wives previously refused to shake hands after the event.

Haryanti also left the building through another door to avoid having to meet Nurlaila.

While the two wives are currently squabbling for a position now held by their husband, he is busy facing corruption allegations over the construction of the Simpang Lima Gumul monument, which ate up billions of rupiah of the state budget.


colson said...

Cat-fights? Hmmmm, I love them.

No actually you are right. Private affairs should in principle be kept out of politics.

( Though I disagree with you on polygamy marriage however. Polygamy to me is not marriage but rather tending a herd - whether the sheep agree or not it is by definition a denial of equality between the shepherd and his flock.)

H. Nizam said...

Hi Colson,
Personally I am against polygamy because I have friends and know people who were victimized by their fathers marrying more than 1 wife.
For me polygamy is very selfish, only based on lust.
However, the fact is that the marriage law in Indonesia provide possibility for polygamy under strict conditions.
And in the wake of the Internal Minister's plan to issue a new rule for election candidates, I would agree if those who are involved in polygamy should not be allowed.

Simon said...

I think this type of personal politics and behavior is exactly what needs to stop in this country.

I wouldn't want any of them in power.

Nice post though - keep it up :-)

H. Nizam said...

Yeah, this kind of family based candidacy is not good for democracy.