The chairman of the advisory board of the National Democrat (Nasdem) movement, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, said he was quitting the mass organization because it had turned into a political party.
"It was agreed at the beginning that Nasdem would not become a political party. Now that a Nasdem Party has been declared, I have decided to withdraw (from the organization)," the Sultan said here on Thursday.
He said it would be difficult for him to explain the existence if a Nasdem Party to the regional boards of the Nasdem movement.
"In the regions many Nasdem members are civil servants. It will be difficult for me to explain Nasdem as a mass organization and a political party. Moreover, the symbol of the Nasdem Party is almost the same as that of the Nasdem mass organization," he said.
He said his initial commitment when joining Nasdem was to build the organization to become a political power without necessarily becoming a political party.
"Seventy-five percent of Nasdem board members are civil servants. They certainly cannot become political party members," he said.
Regarding the use of the palace symbol on his resignation letter, the sultan said that it was a personal stand and because he was the one that signed it he had to show his identity.
"That is based on my own conscience. It is stated clearly in the letter. It also has nothing to do with the issue of Yogyakartga special status now being discussed at the House of Representatives," he said.
He said he did not understand why the party would not use another name and a different symbol.
"Due to the unclear stand, I decided to resign," he said.
Regarding the possibility of him joining other organizations or parties, the sultan said he had not yet decided.
"I do not know. What is certain is that I have been disappointed by parties," he said.
Asked about the response from Surya Paloh, the chief of Nasdem, and the future of Nasdem`s Yogyakarta chapter which is led by GKR Pembayun who is his daughter, the Sultan said he would not care and would let each of them decide by themselves.
"By being a mass organization Nasdem could serve with power interest while a political party is oriented to power. We wish to serve sincerely, not play politics," he said.
The Sultan`s decision was hailed by his brother GBPH Prabukusumo who said "every citizen has a political right so does Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X. As his younger brother I have to support his stand," he said at a book launching event here on Thursday.
He said he hoped with the decision Sri Sultan could become an Indonesian figure to whom anyone could complain to.
"In the language of young people now he could become a place for `curhat` (telling grievances) for president or anyone," he said.
He said Indonesia now lacks a strong figure. "Even the existing religious figures could not as yet be be able to be taken as role models because they are usually also involved in politics," he said.
Besides being the chief of the Yogyakarta Sultanate Sultan is also the governor of the Yogyakarta special region, the status of which is now being discussed for possible revocation at the House of Representatives.