Subject: PDI-P Forms Coalition with Gerindra, Hanura [+PPP; JP Insight; Chaos in Banyumas]

also: 3 JP reports: Hanura, PPP leaders postpone meeting; Insight: Elections: The moment of truth is finally here; Parties join forces to sue polls body, government

The Jakarta Post [web site] April 11, 2009

PDI-P Forms Coalition with Gerindra, Hanura

photo: Knowing friends: Chairwoman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle Megawati Soekarnoputri shakes hand with chief patron of the Great Indonesian Movement Prabowo Subianto at Megawati's residence in Jakarta on Saturday. Antara/Widodo S Jusuf

Chief patron of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) said Saturday that the party is set to hold coalition with two newcomers, the Indonesian Great Movement Party (Gerindra) and the People's Conscience (Hanura) Party.

Coalition? Hanura (is) certain, Gerindra (is) certain," he said answering journalists questions at his residence, as quoted by

When asked about the party's coalition plan with Golkar Party, he answered vaguely "Let's see later. Next Wednesday the coalition is set."

Taufik said PDI-P would nominate its chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri as presidential candidate but it has yet to nominate the vice presidential nomination name.

He said a PDI-P coordination meetung would decide the name and Gerindra's chief patron Prabowo Subianto was one of the candidates.

Accoding to most quick count survey, PDI-P came second with around 14 percent votes during the Legislative Elecgion Thursday. Gerindra and Hanura came eight and ninth with around 4 and 3 percent of votes, respectively.

Prabowo, former chief of the Army's Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad), has intensified personal and political lobbies and spent a large amount on a media campaign to promote his party and presidential candidacy.

Failing to win the support of the Golkar Party for his presidential bid in 2004, Prabowo, who owns PT Kiani Pulp and Paper in East Kalimantan, founded Gerindra as his political vehicle to contest the presidential election in July. (dre)


The Jakarta Post [web site]

April 11, 2009

Hanura, PPP leaders postpone meeting

An expected meeting between presidential hopeful and the People's Conscience (Hanura) Party chairman Wiranto and United Development Party (PPP) leader Suryadharma Ali on Saturday failed to take place.

The meeting was originally scheduled to be held at Wiranto's office at Jl. Kota Bumi in Central Jakarta at noon on Saturday but dozens of newsmen who had been waiting there since morning were disappointed as the PPP leader did not show up and there was no meeting.

Antara news agency receved information that the meeting had been postponed.

Earlier, on Friday afternoon, Wiranto had met Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri at the latter's residence on Teuku Umar street, Central Jalkarta.

At the meeting, Wiranto and Megawati agreed to respond to various irregularities and violations in Thursday's Legislative Election..

After the polling and ballot count on Thursday, a number of political party leaders started to make approaches to the elites of other parties towards the formation of coalitions for the presidential election in July. (dre)


The Jakarta Post

April 11, 2009

Insight: Elections: The moment of truth is finally here

by Bahtiar Effendy

Last Thursday, millions of Indonesians flocked to the polling booths. They were among the luckiest to have their names in the voter lists (DPT). As such, they were able to exercise their constitutional right - to vote for whichever candidate they deemed most competent to serve in the national as well as regional parliaments.

Others were not that lucky. Many eligible voters could not vote. Their right to vote was stripped away, perhaps unintentionally, simply because their names were not on the voter lists. But they were not the only group that did not participate in the elections.

Many Indonesians chose to go on holiday with family or friends, knowing that Election Day, which was actually already being revised, fell right before Easter. The fact that the Christian holiday came before the weekend only made it perfect timing for many to hit the beaches and resorts.

Many also did not vote because of a lack of interest in the polls and a growing sense of apathy and doubt that the elections will bring about significant change. Even though a definite figure for voter turnout is still not available, many have predicted that as much as 40 percent of eligible voters did not vote.

This does not make the elections any less legitimate, however. Whoever ends up in parliament as the result of these legislative elections, we will accept as the authoritative public office holders responsible mainly to oversee the government and make law. Although this is not to ignore the fact that many parties and candidates, especially those who in the end will be declared losers, will expand their electoral ventures to the Constitutional Court to settle their cases.

One thing is for sure, however: the elections marked the moment of truth. For so many days, weeks and months, we have been consumed with so many reports and analyses about which party would emerge victorious, which parties would gain respectable support from society. A series of polls undertaken by a number of survey institutions during the last quarter of 2008, and especially during the first quarter of this year, raised the eyebrows of the country's many spin doctors and observers. To some extent, the poll results sent waves of shock, astonishment, denial and perhaps even suspicion. The latter arose because of one of Indonesia's many common social ills: for the right price, everything is for sale.

Now the elections have concluded, the voters have actually decided the moment of truth. Which parties get what and how much is something that time will eventually tell. It will take days and weeks to finally know the definite results. But social science has given us the luxury of seeing what the possible outcomes could be.

A few hours after the poll booths closed, quick counts gave us a general picture: the Democratic Party is likely to get 20 percent, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) around 16 percent, the Golkar Party around 14 percent; while Islamic-based parties such as the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the National Mandate Party (PAN), the National Awakening Party (PKB) and the United Development Party (PPP) are likely to be in the range of 5 to 8 percent.

The two new parties of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) and the People's Conscience Party (Hanura) are likely to gain between 3 and 4 percent. The rest are predicted not to pass the parliamentary threshold of 2.5 percent.

As shocking as they may be, those numbers have actually been with us for quite some time. Before the elections, we were haunted by a specter that painted a rosy picture for the Democratic Party - the party of the incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. This party, as some poll results had suggested, would emerge victorious with a possible gain of 26 percent. In the meantime, Vice President Jusuf Kalla's Golkar Party would likely suffer a substantial setback, gaining only 14 percent of votes.

Former president Megawati's PDI-P was likely to increase its electoral gains slightly to around 17 percent. Other parties, including the PKS, the PAN, the PKB, the PPP, would likely be in the range of 5-8 percent; while Wiranto's Hanura and Prabowo's Gerindra would likely be in the margins of 4-5 percent. The rest would not likely meet the designated parliamentary threshold of 2.5 percent.

Indonesians have decided. That decision suggests there is continuity and change in our day-to-day politics. As in the past, there is a continuing pattern that leadership does matter.

The PNI and Masyumi were triumphant in the 1950s because of the unified leadership provided by Sukarno and Mohammad Natsir respectively. This is now being demonstrated by the Democratic Party and the PDI-P, which are heavily dependent on Yudhoyono and Megawati.

But unlike in the past, these elections also solidify the insignificant position of ideology, ethnic and religious divides. Undoubtedly, voters are becoming more fluid. Unfortunately, they still cling heavily to leaders and not so much to programs. This will serve as the biggest challenge for party building institutionally. Being relatively institutionalized, parties such as the PDI-P, Golkar and the PPP have no guarantee that they will last forever, unless they are capable of providing a strong and capable leader who seems to be the only magnet to attract voters.


The Jakarta Post

April 11, 2009

Parties join forces to sue polls body, government

With most pollsters publishing near identical exit poll results, on Friday the likely defeated political parties began to prepare lawsuits against the General Elections Commission (KPU) and the government.

The parties' leaders identified chaotic eligible voter lists (DPT) as the prime cause for their defeat, and accused the KPU and the government of deliberately designing confusing DPTs in order to give SBY's party an advantage at their expense.

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which according to most surveys stood in second place after the Democratic Party, leads the pack of unhappy parties, and moved to hold meetings to consolidate evidence of election fraud.

"We have met with several parties like the Golkar Party, the Great Indonesian Movement Party [Gerindra] and the People's Conscience Party [Hanura] to discuss what steps to take," chairman of PDI-P faction at the House of Representatives, Tjahjo Kumolo, told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

He claimed PDI-P had lost thousands of votes due to DPT fraud, mostly in their stronghold regions.

According to an exit poll conducted by the Indonesia Survey Institute (LSI), the PDI-P gained 14.41 percent of total votes in Thursday's legislative elections, down from 18.53 per cent votes in the 2004 polls.

"Our cadres have reported to us that they did not have their names on the voter list, although they voted in last year's provincial elections," Tjahjo said.

The PDI-P's presidential candidate, Megawati Soekarnoputri, met Hanura's presidential candidate Wiranto on Thursday to discuss filing a lawsuit against the government, Hanura secretary-general Yus Usman Sumanegara said.

"We believe DPT fraud caused us significant vote loss."

According the LSI exit poll, Hanura won 3.72 percent of total votes.

Besides teaming with the PDI-P, Hanura has formed a coalition with eight other parties: the Prosperous Peace Party (PDS), the National People's Concern Party (PPRN), the Democratic Reform Party (PDP), the Labor Party, the National Sun Party (PMB), the Reform Star Party (PBR), the Ulema National Awakening Party (PKNU) and the Prosperous Indonesia Party (PIS).

"The nine of us are committed to seeking legal action if election frauds are found. We are currently collecting evidence as the basis for filing the lawsuit," Yus Usman said.

Similarly, Gerindra's advocacy team leader Mahendradatta said he was planning to sue the government.

Meanwhile, the Golkar Party has tried to maintain equilibrium.

"If we sue the government or even cancel the elections, it would be worse for the country,"

Golkar deputy secretary-general Rully Chairul Azwar said, adding his party would "wait and see" for now.

When asked if Golkar was willing to join the other parties, he said the party officials had not decided yet.

Bambang Suroso from the Pioneers' Party threatened most parties would be angry and boycott the presidential election in July.

"We will take legal action, but if we lose the case, we will boycott the presidential election," he said.

Meanwhile, Sys NS from Regional Unity Party (PPD) said the elections were like a circus.

"Everything is clearly strange and against the law, but the police and the authorities seem to ignore it." (bbs)

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