Parties with a benign face

Thirty-six parties are offering themselves as standard-bearers for the Pancasila state ideology. Conservative in orientation, they are the nationalist and benign face of an Indonesia that is being altered by the social and political force of Islam. Our correspondent DERWIN PEREIRA in Jakarta profiles several of these leading secular parties in our continuing series of infographics on the elections.


* Has become increasingly Islamic-oriented in the last five years, and presents itself as a face of modernist Islam while supporting the Pancasila ideology. Several party elders are from the Indonesian Association of Muslim Intellectuals. Other members come from Islamic youth organisations.
* Holds the key to government coffers and has an established grassroots network and organisation.
* But its strategy is in conflict, with factional rivalry between President B.J. Habibie and chairman Akbar Tandjung.
* Strong in Jambi, parts of Riau province, Central and West Kalimantan, Sulawesi and eastern Indonesia. May get 30 per cent of votes.

Coalition partners: People’s Sovereign Party (PDR), United Development Party (PPP), Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI), Justice Party, Crescent Star Party (PBB). Golkar might also lure National Mandate Party (PAN). Presidential nominee: Dr B.J. Habibie

* Led by Ms Megawati Sukarnoputri, daughter of Indonesia’s founding President Sukarno. The lineage has turned her into a cult figure.
* Popular with the poor in urban are as and cities. Has strong support in Jakarta, South Kalimantan, Medan in North Sumatra, Solo in Central Java, Blitar in East Java, Bali, Bengkulu, Lampung and East Nusa Tenggara.
* Has made inroads into the Muslim camp by cultivating respected Islamic figure Abdurrahman Wahid. But generally, it has little support among modernist Muslims and religious scholars opposed to the idea of a female President.
* Is expected to get 30 per cent of the votes.

Coalition partners: Nation Awakening Party (PKB), Justice and Unity Party (PKP) and possibly PAN. Presidential nominee: Ms Megawati Sukarnoputri.

* Political arm of the 35-million-strong Nadhlatul Ulama led by Mr Abdurrahman Wahid, whose support may help it undercut the influence of Golkar and other Muslim modernist groups. Chairman Matori Abdul Djalil is seen as Mr Abdurrahman’s puppet.
* Not guaranteed to get all NU votes, given that NU support is divided among several other parties.
* Strong in parts of South Sumatra and Lampung and in coastal areas of Central and East Java. May get 10 per cent to 12 per cent of votes.

Coalition partners: PDI-Struggle, PKP, traditionalist Muslim parties and possibly PAN. Presidential nominee: Mr Abdurrahman Wahid.

* Linked to the 28-million-strong Muhammadiyah group and led by US-trained academic and activist Amien Rais. Prides itself as the darling of intellectuals. But also hopes to win support in rural areas by drawing on Muhammadiyah links.
* Policies are at odds with potential coalition partners. Wants a federalist state with the military out of politics.
* Support base in Aceh, parts of West Java, Yogyakarta and other urban centres. Could secure 10 per cent to 12 per cent of votes.

Coalition partners: PDI-Struggle, PKB, PPP and Justice Party. Presidential nominee: Dr Amien Rais.

Minor parties

* Controversial outfit backed by Cooperatives Minister Adi Sasono and his Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals Association (ICMI). Aim is to join forces with Golkar or counter balance it by aligning with Muslim-oriented parties.
* PDR hopes to get most of its support from workers, fishermen and farmers with the idea of cooperatives and a populist economy.

Presidential nominees: Mr Adi Sasono, Dr B.J. Habibie.

* Opposition party created in 1993 to challenge Mr Suharto’s regime. Chairman Sri Bintang Pamungkas was jailed for defaming the former President.
* Wants to amend the 1945 Constitution, have direct presidential polls, abolish the military’s dual-function doctrine and grant full autonomy to provinces.

Presidential nominee: Sri Bintang Pamungkas.

* Mr Suharto’s half-brother and former Golkar elder Probosutedjo heads the party.
* Portrayed as party of the poor and draws inspiration from Marhaenis ideology that was once adopted by the late Sukarno.

Presidential nominee: Undecided.

* Linked closely with Mr Suharto and led by loyalist Syarifuddin Harahap. Members have criticised calls to bring the former leader to trial, saying he has done a lot for Indonesia.
* Party has set up branches in more than 270 districts in a very short time due to strong financial backing.

Presidential nominee: Mr Syarifuddin Harahap.

* Another party associated with the Suharto clan. Chairman Andi Rasyid Djalil has close links to Mr Suharto’s eldest daughter Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana.
* Set up branches in several regions with tacit backing from Mrs Rukmana’s foundation Yayasan Kiara. Pro-status quo in orientation, rejecting demands to evict the military from politics.

Presidential nominee: Armed forces chief General Wiranto.

* Many members are from Golkar while leader Bachtiar Oscha Chalik is from government-created PDI.
* Status-quo party which has targeted lower classes by espousing populist Marhaen ideology.

Presidential nominee: Ms Sukmawati Sukarnoputri, younger sister of opposition leader Megawati.

* Set up during the New Order era to challenge the Suharto regime. The government accused it of being pro-communist and of masterminding the 1996 Jakarta riots. Party leader Budiman Sudjatmiko and several members were jailed subsequently.
* Wants Mr Suharto to be tried in court; the military out of politics; all political prisoners freed; improved rights for women and ethnic minority groups; and a doubling of minimum wages.

Presidential nominee: Budiman Sudjatmiko.

* Established in 1973 when the government fused five nationalist and secular parties. Split into two after the government-backed ouster of then chairman Megawati.
* Without her, the party managed only 3 per cent of the votes in the 1997 general election. But party chief Budi Hardjono remains confident his pro-Golkar and pro-military party is stronger than Ms Megawati’s PDI-Struggle.

Presidential nominee: Dr B.J. Habibie.

* Set up after the independent and once-banned Indonesian Workers Prosperity Union (SBSI) received formal recognition. Founded by labour leader Muchtar Pakpahan.
* Wants a trebling of minimum wages and jobs for the unemployed.

Presidential nominee: Muchtar Pakpahan.

* Previously a component group of Golkar and concentrated on educational and social issues. Was the first group to split from Golkar when Mr Suharto quit.
* Led by former Women’s Affairs Minister Mien Sughandi and claims support from small businesses, workers and students.

Presidential nominee: Election committee chairman Rudini.

* Led by former Defence and Security Minister General Edi Sudradjat. Founded last year after he failed to win the chairmanship of Golkar.
* Status-quo oriented. National unity a key platform.

Presidential nominee: Former Vice-President Try Sutrisno.

* There are 21 other parties.

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