Waving the ‘green’ flag

Twelve of the 48 parties offer themselves as standard-bearers for Islam. While sharing similarities in the use of traditional symbols and the colour green, they view religious purity, non-Muslims and secular parties differently. In our continuing series of infographics Straits Times correspondent Derwin Pereira provides a quick guide to the 12 parties and shows how their varying shades of green could affect future coalition possibilities:

United Development Party (PPP)
* A New Order relic which is trying hard to present a new face. * One of the biggest Muslim parties in Indonesia, it has replaced its Pancasila ideology with Islam and adopted the Kaa’ba (a cubed-shaped shrine) in Mecca as its symbol.
* Former Cabinet minister Hamzah Haz heads the party, which has extensive grassroots networks in Sumatra and Java.
* Secured 25 to 30 per cent in past elections but expected to get much less now with proliferation of Islamic parties.
* Has called for women’s rights and equal development of eastern and western Indonesia.

Coalition partners: Gravitates towards Golkar but still possible it could turn the other way to join the National Mandate Party (PAN) and other reformist parties.
Presidential nominee: Mr Hamzah Haz.

Justice Party
* Set up by group of young Muslim activists who have been together since 80s. Boasts a membership of one million.
* President is 38-year-old Nurmahmudi Ismail.
* Sees itself as third force in Indonesian Islam alongside traditionalists and modernists. * Strictest of all the Islamic parties. Wants Pancasila abolished. Discourages members from smoking and gambling. Women are encouraged to wear the jilbab or headscarf.

Coalition partners: Possibilities include Golkar, PPP, PBB or PAN.
Presidential nominee: Mr Didin Hafifudin.

Crescent Star Party (PBB)
* Led by Mr Yusril Ihza Mahendra, one of President B.J. Habibie’s advisors. He is a member of the Association of Muslim Intellectuals of Indonesia and was a former speech writer for Suharto. Several members linked closely to Suharto’s son-in-law, Prabowo Subianto.
* Claims to be torchbearer of the Masyumi Party, the orthodox Islamic movement that captured second largest share of votes in the 1955 polls.
* Wants to amend 1945 Constitution.
* Also believes Indonesia should be divided into 40 provinces with special status for Aceh, Yogyakarta, Bali and East Timor.

Coalition partners: Golkar, United Development Party and Justice Party are possibilities.
Presidential nominees: 10 candidates. Mr Mahendra heads the list.

Masyumi Islamic Political Party (PPIM)
* Chairman is Mr Abdullah Hehamahua, an activist of the Muslim Student Association.
* Calls for state to be based on Islamic laws.
* Wants to build a populist economy, abolish taxation for the poor and impose stiff duties on tobacco, alcohol and gambling.

Coalition partners: Open to only modernist Islamic parties, that is those with a purist approach to the religion.
Presidential nominee: Undecided.

New Masyumi Party (PMB)
* Previously known as Council of the Association of Muslim Intellectuals.
* Was set up officially as a party by Ridwan Saidi, former member of Golkar and the United Development Party.
* Shares name of the old Masyumi party but maintains it is a “new” creature, and distances itself from past regime.
* A modernist Islamic party that harps on social justice and building a populist economy.

Coalition partners: With modernist Islamic parties only.
Presidential nominee: Islamic scholar Nurcholish Madjid.

Indonesian United Islam Party 1905 (PSII-1905)
* Heir apparent of the Sarekat Islam or Islamic Trade Association of 1905 which started the fight against Dutch colonialism.
* Led by religious activist H. Ohan Sudjana, the party wants to create a united Muslim front.
* Wants Islam to be given the highest priority in national life.

Coalition partners: Willing to join forces with all Muslim parties.
Presidential nominee: Undecided.

Indonesian United Islam Party (PSII)
* Logo and name similar to that of PSII-1905, which could confuse elderly voters with emotional ties to the original movement. Both share a common vision.
* Leader is Mr Taufiq Rusjdi Tjokroaminoto, grandson of H.O.S. Tjokroaminoto, one of the founding fathers of Sarekat Islam. Status quo party.

Coalition partners: Open to all political and religious groups.
Presidential nominee: Undecided.

Indonesian Muslim Awakening Party (KAMI)
* Traditionalist party that draws extensively on the Koran and ‘hadith’ teachings to underpin its raison detre.
* Led by relatively unknown religious scholar Syamsahril who has warned that Indonesia is facing the wrath of Allah.
* Sees itself as ‘good medicine’ to cure political and economic ills of country but is short on specifics. Also lacks funding.

Coalition partners: Likely to veer towards the more traditionalist parties like PPP, the People’s Awakening Party (PKU) and the Nadhlatul People’s Party (PNU).
* Presidential nominee: Undecided.

People’s Awakening Party (PKU)
* One of the larger parties, it is led by Yusuf Hasyim, a critic of Islamic scholar Abdurrahman Wahid who belongs to the rival National Awakening Party.
* Wants Islamic values to be more represented in state legislation. But generally traditionalist-oriented and believes in religious pluralism.
* Straddles Pancasila and Islam. It opposes the military’s political role and has called for a gradual phase-out.

Coalition partners: Could join any of the front-runner secular or Islamic parties.
Presidential nominee: Undecided.

Muslim People’s Party (PUI)
* First Islamic party set up under the transition government.
* Led by Mr Deliar Noer, one-time speechwriter and later critic of ex-President Suharto.
* Aims to spread Islamic teachings nationwide but opposed to an Islamic state.

Coalition partners: Open to all Muslim-oriented parties.
Presidential nominee: Mr Deliar Noer.

Nadhlatul People’s Party (PNU)
* Like PKU, this party draws from its links to the traditionalist Nadhlatul Ulama, the largest Muslim organisation in Indonesia with 35 million members.
* Leader is Mr K.H. Syukron Makmun, a NU elder.
* Wants Islamic law introduced. Also calls on military to remain neutral in politics.

Coalition partners: Could join any of the front-runner Islamic parties.
Presidential nominee: Undecided.

Unity Party
* Set up by veteran politician Naro, who made headlines in the early 90s when he challenged Mr Suharto’s nomination of Mr Sudharmono as Vice-President.
* Wants to alleviate poverty, set up more educational facilities in outlying provinces, and provide scholarships for the poor through links with big businesses.

Coalition partners: Likely to coalesce with traditionalist parties, so-called because they still retain elements of pre-Islamic, largely Javanese, beliefs and culture.
Presidential nominee: Undecided.

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