Five Years Hence It's not official yet and won't be until August 14th - barring judicial reviews, cock-ups, machinations or other unanticipated impediments - but it's already clear that the Indonesian electorate has abandoned the tired old faces from the past and stuck with SBY who, with Boediono as his Vice President, will be reinaugurated as President on October 20th.
The transition to free and direct elections can only be a good thing for a transforming country but there is no room for complacency.
SBY will not be able to stand the next time round, so another 'trustworthy' stateman-like figure needs to be found, whether groomed by the incumbent or emerging from parliament or the grassroots of community activism only time will tell. One thing is fairly obvious, though, and that is that the long entrenched political forces are not wanted by the population at large.
Three of the losing four will not be around in 2014
Golkar, chaired by current VP Jusuf Kalla, came in a distant third with, according to current projections, a mere 10% of the vote. He may well, as he earlier said, pulang kampung, and go back to being the most prominent businessman in his home turf of South Sulawesi, the only territory where he gained a majority of the votes.
His pick for VP, Gen (ret) Wiranto, was Golkar's front man in 2004 when he came in a fairly distant third. His time is now, thankfully, past.
Kalla was a Johnny-come-lately who only came by his chairmanship by virtue of being SBY's no.2, so we can expect the remnants of the old ruling regime - Golkar was Suharto's facade of political legitimacy - to reassert themslves. If, as projected, Abdurizal Bakrie, of Lapindo/Sidoarjo mudflow infamy, takes over the helm, then I would expect Golkar to lose all legitimacy and be a totally spent force within five years.
As for Megawati, she has now been humiliated twice in the presidential polls, and her attempt to perpetuate a dynasty, one founded on her perceived popularity of her late father, first president Sukarno, shows that it is time for her to step aside.
The fourth member of the losing pairs is Gen.(ret) Prabowo. He has already appeared on TV snarling that the quick counts should not have been allowed. There can only be one riposte to that: the publically displayed local counts, one of which I posted yesterday, although not official, enable the electorate to have forewarning of any discrepancies or later manipulations. Coup d'etats are now virtually impossible in Indonesia.
The losing pairs played the religion card - the wives of SBY and Boediono didn't wear Muslim headscarves on the campaign trail therefore .... . It could be said, therefore, that the electorate recognises that religion and politics should be separate. This ignores the coalition formed by SBY's party, Parti Demokrat, with various Islamic parties in order to nominate him for yesterday's election. That many of these parties are not represented in the next parliament could be a problem in that his government needs a parliamentary majority in order to ensure that his programmes are put in place.
A parliament also needs an opposition. That Megawati appears to be a sore loser is an indication that her PDI-P will continue in that role. We may also expect Prabowo's Gerinda to join, mainly because he still, unfortunately, harbours presidential pretentions and must therefore show that he supports the "little people" against the forces arraigned against them. He will probably also need PDI-P to support his aspirations for 2014.
Because of their personal differences, I would expect Hanura, the party of Prabowo's nemesis in 1998, Wiranto, to join SBY's alliance. This leaves the conumdrum of Golkar. As a party used to having an element of government within their purview, they may well join the government. It may prove difficult to demonstrate administrative competence to the populace if they are perceived to be politically impotent.
We have until October to see how the political map unfolds. Whatever, what we do expect over the next five years is a continued commitment to remove corruption from the mindset of the bureaucracies. This will take further institutional reform and the empowerment of NGO's who are best able to provide community input and the monitoring of programmes which are put in place by directly elected representatives, Indonesia's public servants.
The next elections, in five years time, could and should be an accounting of how far true democracy - government by the people for the people - has evolved here.