In the politically charged backdrop, the statement by NU Chair Yahya Cholil Staquf, cleverly pivots Nahdlatul Ulama’s role away from the 2024 presidential elections, reinforcing its religious identity.
JAKARTA | KBA– Yahya Cholil Staquf, popularly known as Gus Yahya, has clarified regarding the Anies Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar (AMIN) declaration, emphasizing that NU’s primary commitment remains with religious affairs and will not delve into the 2024 presidential election.
Political observer Assoc Prof. Dr. TB. Massa Djafar views the PBNU Chairman’s move as expected. Such a neutral stance from NU can potentially create a broader sphere for channeling political aspirations, without being restricted to a specific presidential candidate or party.
He commented on the situation, stating, “While the neutrality of PB NU appears overt, it’s an optimal strategy for conveying political aspirations and interests across multiple parties,” in a conversation with KBA News on September 17, 2023.
Djafar further analyzes Gus Yahya’s statement’s potential implications, suggesting that while some perceive it as a potential risk for Muhaimin, others believe that the support of the Nahdliyin community remains intact if Muhaimin can safeguard it. He asserts,
“If Muhaimin can engage the Nahdliyin and appeal to Gusdurian sentiments, victory in the 2024 presidential election is within AMIN’s grasp.”
However, a potential downside looms if Muhaimin fails in consolidating support from the Nadhliyin and the Gusdurian, which might impede his climb in electability ranks.
Despite apparent tensions, Djafar is confident about the robust bond between PKB and NU, citing their shared origins.
The unfolding dynamics between the two organizations have been keenly observed, especially after Muhaimin Iskandar, the General Chair of the National Awakening Party (PKB), downplayed the impact of Gus Yahya’s statement on the 2024 presidential election.
With a base of a robust 13 million voters, Muhaimin remains optimistic about his presidential aspirations.
Boasting two decades at the helm of PKB, he confidently asserts that PKB’s voice resonates far and wide, yet remains unwavering in its core values. (kba).