Prabowo reelected HKTI chairman

Second time in a row: Reelected chairman of the Association of Indonesian Farmers (HKTI), Prabowo Subianto, right, claps hands during the closing ceremony of the organization’s congress in Bali on Wednesday. Accompanying Prabowo were new HKTI chief advisor Jafar Hafsah, center, and former agriculture minister Bungaran Saragih. — JP/Stanny Angga

The Association of Indonesian Farmers (HKTI) cut short its national congress in Denpasar, Bali on Wednesday after participants unanimously reelected Prabowo Subianto as chairman of the organization. Congress organizer Komang Suarsana said the election for the HKTI chairman for 2010-2015 period was canceled after the floor accepted Prabowo’s accountability speech and demanded his reelection in a plenary on Tuesday evening.

“Last night the plenary unanimously endorsed Pak Prabowo’s election as HKTI chairman for a second five-year term,” Suarsana said as quoted by Antara news agency. Almost all the 33 provincial chapters of HKTI had expressed their intention to maintain Prabowo as their leader prior to the congress, which began on Monday.

In their response to Prabowo’s accountability, all but one provincial chapter proposed the incumbent’s reelection, dealing four other contenders, including Prabowo’s former wife Siti Hediati “Titiek”.Hariyadi, a big blow. The organization is facing an internal split as a number of executives, regional leaders and three candidates for the association’s chief post were considering a rival congress, saying the just concluded congress was illegitimate for violating the HKTI statute.

Several delegates from Jakarta, West Java, East Java, Lampung and Papua complained they were given no access to the congress due administrative reasons.