Next year, Indonesia will have new parliamentary and presidential elections. Now already, these elections are highly relevant as political parties need to find ways to gain popular support and need to look for the right presidential candidates. Political parties or coalitions of political parties that receive at least 20 percent of the votes during the parliamentary election, are allowed to nominate a presidential candidate. Thereafter, a presidential election - in which a few candidates participate - will decide the next Indonesian president.
Three parties usually top these surveys. These are Golkar, PDI-P, and the Democratic Party. All three share that they are supportive of a pluralist, secular and democratic society.
Democratic Party (PD)
According to recent surveys, the Democratic Party (PD) of current president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will receive major blows in the next election. Multiple surveys indicate that the party might lose up to ten percent. Reason behind this development is a string of corruption scandals within the party that erupted last year. Yudhoyono, who himself has never been involved in corruption cases, is not allowed to run for president again as the constitution limits the presidency to two terms of five years. A new leader and presidential candidate for this party, however, is yet to be found.
Golkar, the political vehicle of Suharto during the authoritarian New Order regime, is topping most surveys. The party lost some popularity during the first decade of the Reformasi period, but seems to be in the driver's seat now. Golkar already nominated its presidential candidate: business tycoon Aburizal Bakrie, one of the richest Indonesians but also one of the most controversial figures as his companies have been linked to corruption scandals, tax evasion and one huge 'natural' disaster in East Java (the Sidoarjo mudflow). Bakrie is not popular among Indonesians and it seems unlikely that he will win the presidential election, if allowed to participate.
The PDI-P - once highly popular for its opposition to Suharto - is still in the hands of Megawati Sukarnoputri (daughter of Sukarno) who was president from 2001 to 2004 but lacked good leadership. The party is showing good results in the surveys, but, similar to Golkar and the PD, has problems regarding its future leadership. Part of the PDI-P is in favor for Megawati, but others think she is too old, lacks leadership and should pass the position to her daughter, Puan Maharani.