Padang, West Sumatra – Vice President Jusuf Kalla said, with the strengthening of pragmatism and the increasingly high cost of politics, it is harder to implement democratization within political parties.

“In fact, in democracy, political parties which are the main elements of the practice of democracy should be democratic in advance,” said the Vice President in his speech when opening the third National Conference of Constitutional Law, at the Convention Hall of the University of Andalas in Padang, West Sumatra province on Monday (Sept. 5).

According to him, political parties should also reduce the number of their executive board members so that the decision process would not be that difficult and expensive.

“When I was the Golkar Party chairman, the party only had a total of 80 board members so it was easy to make decisions,” said Vice President, comparing to the current number of board members of the party which comprises 600 people.

The Vice President then said, since its independence, Indonesia has tried many government systems, ranging from federal, parliamentary, to presidential system.

“We finally chose democracy. Not because it is the most perfect system, but because it is considered a system with the least disadvantages,” he said.

Earlier, Director of Center for Constitutional Studies (Pusako) of Faculty of Law at Andalas University Professor Saldi Isra told that the conference was to assess the reform of political parties in Indonesia which have a strategic role in filling a variety of political positions in the country.

“With their strategic role, a lot of criticism and negative views come up against political parties. Therefore, Pusako would examine academically about the democratization of political parties, and the results will be submitted to the Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Law and Human Rights, political parties, and the House of Representatives,” he said.

The third conference, he added, focuses on four issues, namely the design of internal party reform, decentralization of political parties, political party’s internal conflict resolution, and the finance of political parties.

The conference is slated to last from September 5 to 8, 2016 in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra and is participated by by academics, researchers, constitution activists, political parties, officials of state agencies, and students.

Also present at the opening ceremony were the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) chairman Irman Gusman, Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basoeki Hadimoeljono, West Sumatra governor Irwan Prayitno, and former Chief Justice Bagir Manan who became the keynote speaker at the event.