It is becoming more and more likely that the Golkar party (the second-largest political party of Indonesia based on the legislative election that was held in April 2014), will join the coalition that consists of the PDI-P (winner of the legislative election), NasDem and PKB. This coalition has already announced its full support for highly popular Governor of Jakarta Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as the coalition’s presidential nominee for the presidential election (9 July 2014). The running mate of Jokowi, however, remains a question mark.
The official announcement of the coalition (PDI-P, NasDem and PKB) and the official candidacy of Jokowi, both on Wednesday (14/05) had a positive impact on financial markets; both the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate and the benchmark Jakarta Composite Index strengthened markedly. And as speculation emerged that Golkar will join the aforementioned coalition, markets continued to strengthen on Friday (16/05). The underlying reason being that a larger coalition - having more than half of total seats in parliament if Golkar joins - implies a higher degree of political certainty in Southeast Asia's largest economy.
If Golkar joins the coalition, then it also paves the way for Jusuf Kalla to become the running mate of Jokowi. Kalla - a former Golkar Chairman - is still closely connected to Golkar and therefore it would raise some eyebrows if Kalla joins the race without the support of Golkar in the coalition.
Chairman of Golkar Aburizal Bakrie said that he and Megawati Soekarnoputri (Chairwoman of the PDI-P) had a meeting to discuss cooperation between both parties. According to Bakrie the meeting went well and both sides see perspective to team up. Bakrie also informed that the presidential and vice-presidential candidates (for example the possible nomination of Kalla as vice-presidential candidate) were not a topic of discussion. Results of the meeting will be discussed internally in the Golkar party first before any decisions about joining the coalition can be made.
Previously, Golkar and Gerindra (the political vehicle of Prabowo Subianto) were expected to form a coalition. However, both sides seem to have had a fallout. Today (16/05), Golkar member Nurdiman Munir said that it will be difficult for Indonesia to have Subianto as president as the USA and Europe will not be fond of him due to Subianto’s alleged human rights violations (as army general) in 1998 (against political activists) as well as in the early 1980s in East Timor.
Subianto has set up a coalition with PAN, PPP, and PKS (three Islamic parties). Subianto is the coalition’s presidential candidate, while Hatta Rajasa (Chairman of PAN who stepped down from his post of Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs earlier this week to focus on the presidential election). Some commotion occurred when Goenawan Mohamad, founder of Tempo Magazine and architect of the PAN party, announced to resign from the party in protest of its support for Subianto’s presidential campaign. Mohamad believes it is a mistake to support Subianto as the latter wanted to shut down the pro-democracy movement in the 1990s.
Indonesian Legislative Election 2014:
• Indonesian Politics: the Presidential Candidates' Running Mates
• Official Result of the Indonesian Legislative Election 2014 Released
• Joko Widodo Expected to Announce Running Mate for Indonesian Elections
• Golkar-Gerindra Coalition's President: Aburizal Bakrie or Prabowo Subianto?
• Indonesian Politics Update: PKB Approaches PDI-P to Form Coalition
• Parliamentary Election in Indonesia; Overview of Popular Political Parties
• Indonesian Politics
• Analysis of Quick Count Results of the Indonesian Legislative Election 2014
• Can Joko Widodo Accelerate the Democratization Process in Indonesia?
• Indonesia’s 2014 Presidential Candidates; a Profile of Aburizal Bakrie
• Towards Indonesia's Presidential Elections: a Profile of Prabowo Subianto
• The Tough Road of Yudhoyono's Democratic Party towards the 2014 Elections