Returning home just before midnight from the nice evening
in the magnificent Gedung Kesenian last Rriday evening, John and I got caught in the mayhem outside Megawati's residence, which is where we learned that after extensive negotiations, probably over which party will cough up the cost of
bribing the electorate
campaigning for the Presidential election on July 8th, and alliance has been forged between her party, PDI-P, and Gerinda of non-human rights activist Lieut-Gen.(ret) Prabowo.
We already knew the other two pairings of incumbent President SBY and the now-resigned Governor of Bank Indonesia Boediono, and incumbent Vice President and businessman's friend Jusuf Kalla of Golkar and the other noted non-human rights activist Gen.(ret) Wiranto who, just as Prabowo did, set up his own party, Hanura.
If no pair gets 50+% of the vote, there will be a runoff in early September, something I hope we will be spared.
If allegiance to a political party is important, then it looks as if SBY-Boediono (Y-B) are a certainty as they can muster the support of 22 (of 38) other parties. Among the nine who captured seats in the House of Representatives, those in their coalition include SBY's Partai Demokrat (PD) with 21,703,137 votes, the Islamic parties of Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS) with 8,206,955, Partai Amanat Nasional (PAN) with 6,254,.580, Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB) with 5,146,122 and Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP) 5,533,.214. That's 46,844,008 of the 85,051,132 votes cast, or c.55%.
Then there's the support of the 17 other parties who didn't pass the 2.5% threshold to gain seats in the national legislature but may well be represented at regional and local levels. However, if we give them a generous average allocation of 1% of the votes cast, then the other pairings look to be no-hopers, but at least their candidacies are good for Indonesia's embryonic democracy. There are also a number of other parties, such as Papua's Barisan Indonesia (Barindo), which were ruled ineligible to put forward electoral candidates yet have come out in support of SBY.
Kalla's Partai Golongan Karya (Golkar) mustered 15,037,757 votes and Wiranto's Partai Hati Nurani Rakyat (Hanura) 3,922,870 for a combined percentage of 22.3.
Megawati's Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (PDI-P) managed 14,000,091 and Prabowo's Partai Gerakan Indonesia Raya (Gerinda), which he founded just last year, managed an astonishing 4,646,406 on the back of an intensive, extensive and expensive TV campaign. Their combined percentage is 21.9.
I can't see either of these pairings making a serious inroad into SBY's instant re-election. Apart from his popularity among the masses, especially now he has the notional support of the Islamic groupings, one has to consider the shortcomings of the others.
Kalla is the only candidate from a different ethnic background, South Sulawesi, and although Megawati played to the Balinese because her father, first President Soekarno, once had a Balinese wife, her mother came from Bengkulu in South Sumatra.
It was eleven years ago this month
that Suharto's then son-in-law Prabowo was responsible for the shootings of university students here in Jakarta and the disappearances of many more. Wiranto was head of the army at that time and the following year as mayhem ensued in East Timor in the wake of their voting for independence..The UN has accused him of crimes against humanity. New voters may have little recollection of that time, but their parents, and especially the Chinese Indonesian group will not forget
in a hurry.
All six are now awaiting the results of lengthy medical examinations, which in Megawati's case meant abstinence from sex for ten days. This may not have been problematic as her husband and the chief patron of her party, PDI-P, Taufik Kiemas is currently recovering from another heart attack.
Once they've been deemed fit to serve, albeit only in the physical sense, they'll be hitting the campaign trail, so a quick examination of their
promises is in order.
These are their economic policies in brief.Y-B
1. Accountable governance, including no bribery and no conflict of interest between family businesses and public functions.
2. State intervention in the economy if necessary.
3. Reform of the bureaucracy.
4. Prioritising the purchase of local goods.K-W
1. 5% average annual economic growth during the 5-year presidency.
2. National security and stability guarantees to boost investments.
3. Empowerment of small and medium businesses.
4. Prioritising the purchase of local goods.M-P
1. 10% average annual economic growth during the 5-year presidency.
2. Popular economic policies.
3. Abolish overseas loans.
4. Priority for domestic possession of natural resources including mining, oil and gas.
5. Empowerment of traditional markets, farmers and fishermen.
Regular readers of Jakartass, and others who click this link
, know where my support lies. Where does yours?