17 March 2014
Indonesia’s biggest opposition party kicked off its campaign for the country’s parliamentary elections with a head start after nominating Jakarta’s popular governor for president.
Twelve parties will vie in an April election for spots in the 560-seat parliament where President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party is now the biggest single entity with 26 percent of seats. The coming ballot may see that advantage eroded as the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P, and its presidential candidate Joko Widodo lead in opinion polls.
“There will be an increase in votes for PDI-P,” Yose Rizal, founder of politicawave.com, which tracks political discourse on the Internet, said March 14. “With the nomination of Jokowi, who’s a favorite, fewer people will choose to abstain from voting,” he said, referring to Widodo by his nickname.
… Megawati made a wise choice to have Widodo named as the PDI-P’s presidential candidate, according to Leonard Sebastian, associate professor and coordinator of the Indonesia program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
“I believe her calculation would be based on the fact that the PDI-P now will go into the election with a clear presidential candidate and one who obviously will be able to garner huge support from the electorate,” he said. “This should translate into huge gains for the PDI-P in the general elections.”
GPO / IDSS / RSIS / Online
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