Here's the start of my deep and meaningless analysis of the Indonesian Presidential election.
First, there are 5 Presidential pairs:
1.Wiranto - Solahuddin Wahid
2.Megawati Soekarnoputri - Hasyim
3.Amien Rais - Siswono Yudohusodo
4.Susilo Bambang Yudohono - Jusuf Kalla
5.Hamzah Haz - Agum Gumelar
The numbers refer to the numbers that will appear on the voting papers.
Now for my analysis.
1. It is democratic. But democracy doesn't work
. So whoever gets elected, will be chosen somewhat arbitrarily.
2. Voting is literally a matter of sticking a pin in a piece of paper. Most electors could do it blindfolded, but former President Gus Dur won't because he's legally blind and therefore been disqualified from standing for the presidency. This also disproves my first point.
3. All five pairs are designed to balance the perceived faults of each other. Knowing the pairings doesn't really help because with only a couple of exceptions they're all connected.
and Gus Dur played together when her dad was President. Presumably they also played with Gus Dur's brother Solahuddin Wahid who is Wiranto's choice for VP.
5. In the Soeharto era, only 3 political parties were allowed: Golkar, which always won, PDI and PPP. The recent election had 24; Golkar just beat PDI - P, the successor to PDI but now with an extra - P for struggle, and PPP came in 5th or thereabouts.
6. Megawati of PDI +P and Hamzah Haz
of PPP were both legislative rubber stamps offering 'democratic' opposition in Soeharto's era. She is currently the President and he the Vice President.
7. Gen. (ret.) Wiranto
, formerly Soeharto's aide-de-camp, faces UN charges of human rights abuses which occurred in East Timor when he was Army chief. He was later President Habibie's and President Gus Dur's Minister of Defence.
8. Wiranto's choice as VP, Wahid (Gus Dur's brother), has recently resigned as chair of Indonesia's Human Rights Commission.
faces possible charges of rights abuses following a raid on Megawati's H.Q. in 1997 which cost a few lives. He was then the Jakarta Military Governor. Until this Presidential campaign he was President Megawati's Minister in charge of State Security.
10. His choice for VP, Jusuf Kalla, is very rich, a fortune originally built up by his grandfather who was a mate of Megawati's dad, President Sukarno.
11. They're all rich, but Amien Rais, the current speaker of the People?s Consultative Assembly (MPR), is the poorest with only Rp.1 billion (= c.$100,000). He's 'amassed' his fortune through lecturing at Gadja Majah University in Yogyakarta.
12. Wiranto has c.$1m, saved from his salary of Rp.5m (=$550 p.m.) as a general and sales of a CD which feature him 'singing'.
13. Megawati's choice of potential VP, Hasyim Muzadi, is, she said, there "to keep corruptive forces away."
She was reputedly referring to her husband.
(Disclaimer: Much of the above is either cribbed from the Jakarta Post
and intended for publication or hearsay overheard on the Busway
and, therefore, not intended to be taken as the gospel truth.)
Which reminds me.
14. Hamzah Haz would like to see syariah
(Islamic) law introduced. He seems unclear about how many wives he has got, but denies that he has the backing of any Christian parties.
Finally, for those readers who fail to see the significance of the above, here's another way to choose who you would vote for if you're not Gus Dur.
You'll need calculators for this.
1. How old are you?
2. Multiply this by 5, the number of Presidential candidates.
3. Add 24, the number of political parties which contested the recent election.
4. Take away 9, the biggest digit.
5. Divide by 5, the date of the election (July 5th).
6. Finally, take away your age.
The number you are left with is your choice
from the list on the right.