And then there were four
"The failure of Hamzah Haz and his running mate Agum Gumelar to gain a significant number of votes in the first round of the presidential election was due to a lack funds and a poor spreading of the message during the election campaign,
" PPP deputy chairman Alimarwan Hanan said earlier today. That says it all really. 3.1% of the votes cast is pretty dismal by any standards but I tend to agree with various pundits who say that the real reason is that the electorate don't trust a man with 3 wives. Bye-bye H.H.
SBY will come in first with c.33% of the votes and with half the ballots counted
it looks as if the current president, Megawati, will beat off the challenge of Gen (ret.) Wiranto for the run off election in September. Snide attacks against her seem to have backfired and without an established party base SBY may end up as a one hit wonder. The entrenched forces of Soeharto's old power base, Golkar, represented by Wiranto, will seek cabinet seats from PDI-P and squeeze out SBY who has little but a nice singing voice to rely on.
What is worrying is that no-one
has 'spread a message' and moves to form coalitions have begun even before the final result of this round is confirmed. I can see why the Amien Rais campaign team are asking the Election Commission to include a blank box on the ballot paper for the final round. This would be a legitimate way for electors to exercise their newly won democratic rights whilst declaring their distrust of getting more of the same old, same old.
This election has proved that Indonesians are quite sophisticated politically and can't be bought; the majority of the political parties' members did not support the candidate backed by their party. It is now time for politicians to do the job they were elected for and not the one they bought.
Or, in Hamzah Haz's case, didn't.