Profile of political parties contesting the 2004 elections

Kompas – December 9, 2003
Political party logos (arenalogo)
Political party logos (arenalogo)

Based on Law Number 31/2002 on Political Parties, no less than 209 political parties in the country – including those who already had the status of a legal body and those who did not – have had their status annulled. As a result, there are now 50 recorded political parties in the country. From this total, 24 parties have passed the National Election Commission (KPU) verification and have been declared as being able to participate in the 2004 general elections. The following is a general picture of these 24 parties.

1. Marhaenist Indonesia National Party – Partai Nasional Indonesia Marhaenisme (PNI Marhaenisme)

Basis: Marhaenism1 teachings of Bung Karno2
Established: Jakarta May 20, 2003
Launched: Semarang, Central Java on March 2, 2003
Address: Jl Cikoko 15, Pancoran, South Jakarta
Phone: 021 798 1241
Fax: 021 790 489
General Chairperson: DM Sukmawati Sukarnoputri
General Secretary: Achmad Marhaen Suwarnoputro

The Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI) was first formed by Sukarno and his associates in July 1927 in Bandung, West Java. In 1962, through the PNI congress in Semerang, it was determined among other things that [prominent freedom fighter] Supeni would become one of the chairpersons. In 1998, the PNI was reborn and participated in the 1999 elections under the name of PNI-Supeni. At that time the party obtained 0.36% of the vote nationally with the largest vote of 1.2% being obtained in Bengkulu province and 1.1% in the province of Bali.

Because PNI-Supeni did not obtain the required number of votes to meet the electoral threshold3 the party was not able to participate in the 2004 elections. Based on Law Number 31/2002, parties which did not win any seats in the 1999 elections can participate in the 2004 elections using a new name. PNI-Supeni then changed its name to PNI Marhaenism.

This party, which is based on the struggle of Marhaenism, is aiming to improve the welfare of workers (primarily in the area of wages), peasants and fisherpeople and has prioritised these in its program. This represents a part of the struggle for the general improvements to the people's welfare, both which touches on improvements to their quality of life as well as developing the intellectual life of the nation. If it [wins government and implements this] program the party will form a government which is free from corruption, collusion and nepotism. In particular the PNI wishes to develop Indonesian nationalism, that is a nationalism which is not chauvinistic.

2. Socialist Democratic Labor Party – Partai Buruh Sosial Demokrat (PBSD)

Basis: Pancasila4 and the 1945 Constitution
Launched: May 1, 2001
Address: Jl Kramat Raya No 91 A, Central Jakarta
Phone: 021 315 4092
Fax: 021 390 9834
General Chairperson: Muchtar Pakpahan
Secretary General: Diah Indriasuti

The background to the emergence of PBSD cannot be separated from the history of the struggle of the workers organisation the Indonesian Prosperity Trade Union (SBSI). Initially, the SBSI's political aims were channeled to the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) lead by [now President] Megawati Sukarnoputri since 1993. Through this process, SBSI clearly came to have a different political view from Megawati and a number of its political proposals were rejected. Thus at the National Congress II in 2000 and the National Working Meeting in January 2001, they separated and went on to form a new party.

With the support of a number of other mass organisations, PBSD was formed in 2001 and Muchtar Pakpahan was chosen as the general chairperson of the party. As well as being the general chairperson of SBSI, Muchtar was also the chairperson of the review board of the National Labour Party, which in the 1999 elections scored 140,980 votes or 0.13%. In participating in the 2004 elections, PBSD has established branches in 22 provinces and all of these have passed KPU verification. At the city and regency level, 194 branches have been formed.

In order to achieve the aims of its struggle, PBSD will use the concept and values of social democracy. Because of this, creating a prosperous, fair and wealthy society has is one of the aims of this party. The party is striving to develop and regulate a number of aspect of labour in order to be able to create a better and more prosperous life for workers.

3. Cresent Star Party – Partai Bulan Bintang (PBB)

Basis: Islam
Established: Jakarta, 17 July, 1998
Launched: Jakarta, 26 July, 1998
Address: Jl Raya Pasar Minggu KM 18 No 1B, South Jakarta
Phone: 021 799 2375
General Chairperson: Yusril Ihza Mahendra
Secretary General: HMS Kaban

In terms of its background, this party was inspired by the one of the second largest parties which contested the 1955 elections, Masyumi, which was later disbanded by the Old Order government5 in 1960. The vision of Islamic Modernism is the current basis for PBB along with the party's conviction that Islam is a universal teaching which was given by God to humanity to resolve the problems of their lives, both in the world and the hereafter.

Since wining 13 seats in the People's Representative Assembly (DPR) in the 1999 elections (1.9% of the vote) PPB has been one of the political parties which has consistently enriched the political discourse of the nation through its vocal political figures. Although they experienced an internal spit two years ago, in the lead up to the 2004 elections the party which is symbolized in accordance with its name is hoping to win 25% of the vote which will mean it is included in the three largest parties. With regard to the general chairperson who is also a presidential candidate, Yusril Ihza Mahendra himself has commented that he does not have any ambition whatsoever except to be independent. Nominating himself to become president is up to the people and the party.

4. Independence Party – Partai Merdeka

Basis: Based on Pancasila, with the principles of the family and mutual cooperation
Established: Jakarta, October 10, 2002
Address: Jl Majapahit Kav. 26H, Central Jakarta 10160
Phone: 021 386 1464
Fax 021 386 1465
General Chairperson: Adi Sasono
Secretary General: Dharma Setiawan

To date, the name of Adi Sasono and the movement for a people's economy appears to be inseparable. The evidence being that the party he leads is taking up the struggle for a people's economy as the focus of its working program. One of its programs for example, is to develop a program of cattle fattening, an integrated system of organic agriculture and the production of organic fertilizer.

In accordance with the working program it has put forward, there are at least three aspects which represent the basic principles of this party: nationhood, populism and independence. According to this party, which claims to have cooperative organisations, trade unions, teaches, small and middle size businesses, street traders, fisherpeople and intellectuals as its supporters, these three aspects are inter-linked and should be the property of the nation.

Previously, the founders of the party was also known as a group of activist within the economic movement who had channeled their desires and thinking to existing political parties. Its general chairperson for example, was a chairperson of the Central Leadership Board of Golkar. Over time however, they came to the view that were no political parties which would bring this about. Therefore they are of the view that the people must give their mandate to an organisation which they formed themselves. This was the basis and background to the formation of the party.

5. United Development Party – Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP)

Basis: Islam
Established: Jakarta January 5, 1973
Address: Jl Diponigoro No 80, Central Jakarta
Phone: 021 3192 6164
Fax: 021 314 2558
General Chairperson: H Hamzah Haz
General Secretary: HM Yunus Yosfiah

The decision in 1998 by PPP to return to Islam as its basis represents a turning point for the party in its role as an Islamic political party. This step was taken 10 years after the New Order regime [of former President Suharto] forced it to removed its Islamic attributes though the enforcement of Pancasila as the sole basis for all political parties. The return of PPP to the 1073 Khittah marks a determination on the part of this party which has the Kabah6 as its symbol to liberate itself from an ideological dilemma.

The party which is presently lead by Vice-president Hamah Haz has participated in six elections between 1971 and 1999. In the 1999 elections when many new Islamic parties emerged, the PPP was able to demonstrate its place as a mature Islamic party by putting 58 members in the DPR. At that time they obtained 10.7% of the vote.

In the face of the country's present situation, the party which has a targeted of as much as 30% of the vote in the 2004 elections will continue to emphasis the principles of Istiqamah in carrying out its tasks as a political party. In order to channel the publics aspirations, one of these tasks is to continue to push for political institutions at a national and regional level to function properly and to keep their proper role in mind.

6. United Democratic Nationhood Party – Partai Persatuan Demokrasi Kebangsaan (Partai PDK)

Basis: Pancasila
Established: Jakarta July 23, 2002
Launched: Jakarta July 28, 2002
Address: Jl Ampera Raya Number 99, South Jakarta 12560
Phone: 021 7807 432
Fax: 021 781 7341
Party President: Ryaas Rasyid
Secretary General: Rivai Pulungan

It may be that PDK represents the only political party which explicitly avoids the used of violent symbols such as a task force, a para-military or soldiers who's uniforms resemble the military. This is because PDK refers to itself as a modern party. This party does not adhere to an extreme ideology and does not emphasise the charisma of a single leader. Despite this the party still cannot be separated from the reputation of Ryaas Rasyid, a well known political science teacher and also the National Mandate Party State Minister during the government of [former President] Abdurrahman Wahid. His experience in the bureaucracy, which started as a village head though to becoming a minister, spans almost 30 years.

The party which he formed has also drawn on the support of a number of other intellectuals such as Afan Gafar (now deceased) and Andi A. Mallarangeng, is attempting to to present an cultivated party. References to PDK as a mid-way/neutral and alternative party implies that this party is different from the ideologically based political parties.

Of the 24 provinces where PKI passed the administrative verification, they succeeded in passing the factual verification in 23 provinces. In its political agenda, one of the issues which has been taken up by PDK is enforcement of ethnical values in politics and government.

7. New Indonesia Alliance Party – Partai Perhimpuan Indonesia Baru (Partai PIB)

Basis: Justice, democracy and prosperity along with Pancasila as its basis
Established: September 23, 2002
Address: Jl Teuku Cik Ditiro No 31, Jakarta 10310
Phone: 021 310 8057, 310 7058, 3190 2326, 3190 2725
General Chairperson: Sjahrir
General Secretary: Amir Karamoy

What differentiates PIB from other political parties is that the party tends to see economic development as the dominating factor to bring prosperity to the people. The evidence for this is that PIB, before it became an official political party, proposed the Plan to Determine Economic Recovery to the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR).

This may well be the case since the party's chairperson, Sjahrir, is an economist who played a significant role in the formation of the party's programs which have a strong focus on economic issues. Economic decline and other national issues are a key concern for a number of figures who conceived the formation of this party and who emphasise diversity which they believe has not been managed properly. Therefore, in accordance with these principles, the party tends to prioritise an attitude of openness without bias to ethnicity, religion or profession, which is reflected by the party's national board of directors who are diverse in their backgrounds. The desire for a balance between national life and the state is reflected in the symbol of the party which illustrates a humane and natural cosmic life.

The party, which was declared to have passed the verification process in 22 provinces claims it has 300,000 members in 26 provinces. In the 2004 elections, PIB has set a target of 7% of the vote. In order to achieve this, the strategy they have adopted will be to build networks with a focus on middle-class voters. In selecting its candidate DPR members, the party held an internal screening and selection process which was bottom up in nature. They hope that this strategy will place its presidential candidate, Sjahrir, on the seat of the presidency in 2004.

8. Freedom Bull National Party – Partai Nasional Banteng Kemerdekaan (PNBK)

Basis: Marhaenism teaching of Bung Karno
Launched: Jakarta, July 25, 2002
Address: Jl Penjernihan 1/50, Central Jakarta 10210
Phone: 021 5739 550-51
Fax: 021 573 9519
General Chairperson: Eros Djarot
General Secretary: Suhardi Sudiro

Since it was first established as a party under the name of the Bung Karno Nationalist Party (Partai Nasionalis Bung Karno) on July 27, 2002, nationalism as exposed by Bung Karno has been a basic principle of the party. However because Law Number 31/2002 on Political Parties does not allow the use of a name which refers to the name of a person, on January 17, 2003, the party changed its name and symbol and PNBK was formed to participate in the 2004 general elections.

PNBK's ideology relates to Bung Karno though his famous speech of June 1, 1945, which is now commemorated as the anniversary of Pancasila. The party wishes to bring into being the sentiments of Bung Karno in creating a Marhaenist society, which struggles for the creation of Indonesian socialism throughout the archipelago and concentrates on raising the Javanese poor out of poverty. On the one hand, the party believes that attention must be given to providing education, improvements to health care and opening up opportunities for employment. On the other hand, the party believes the government must be regulated so that corruption, collusion and nepotism do not interfere with the running of a pro-people government. On aspect of this is reducing the facilities provided to government officials by the state.

9. Democratic Party – Partai Demokarat

Basis: Pancasila
Established: Jakarta, September 9, 2001
Launched: October 17, 2002
Address: Jl Pemuda No 721A, East Jakarta
Phone: 921 475 5254
Fax: 021 475 4959
General Chairperson: S. Budhisantoso
Secretary General: Umar Said

The background to the formation of this party was the failure of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to be chosen as vice-president in the special session of the MPR in 2001. Following this, a number of figures from the MPR and academics from schools of higher education agreed to form the Democratic Party which would be able to fight for Yudhoyono to become the president in the 2004 elections. The close relationship between the Democratic Party and Yudhoyono can also been in the party's posters which include a profile of the coordinating minister of politics and security. Moreover, his wife, Ani Bambang Yudhoyono, has joined the central board as the vice-chairperson of the party.

This party, which is based on Pancasila with an emphasis on nationalism, religion, pluralism and humanitarianism, has as one of its goals to uphold, maintain and safeguard the unity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI),. As a new arrival, the Democratic Party claims to be able to extend its wings in 32 provinces and in 416 regencies and cities.

10. Indonesian Justice and Unity Party – Partai Keadilan dan Persatuan Indonesia (PKP Indonesia)

Basis: Pancasila
Established: Jakarta, September 9, 2002
Launched: Jakarta, January 15, 1999 [error in original text – JB.]
Address: Jl. Cilandak Raya KKO No 32, Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta
Phone: 021 780 7653, 780 7656
Fax: 021 780 7655, 780 7657
General chairperson: Edi Sudrajat
Secretary General: Semuel Samson

Initially, this party was called the Justice and Unity Party (PKP), one of the parties which participated in the 1999 elections. Because the seats they won in the DPR did not reach 2% – PKP only won four seats in the DPR or 1.01% of the vote – it was stipulated that the party could not participate in the next election. In order to overcome this PKP members formed a new party: the Indonesian Justice and Unity Party. The position of general chairperson continued to be held by retired armed forces chief General Edi Sudrajat.

The aims of PKP Indonesia include struggling for the creation of justice, nationhood and the state by creating real sovereignty of the people over the running of government. As well as this, the party will also struggle for the creation of stable unification and unity of the nation. To bring this struggle into being, PKP Indonesia claims it has established branches in 30 provinces.

The KPU declared that PKP Indonesia passed factual verification in 23 provinces.

11. Indonesian Democratic Struggle Party – Partai Penegak Demokrasi Indonesia (Partai PD)

Basis: Pancasila
Established: Jakarta, January 10, 2003
Launched: Jakarta, May 20, 2003
Address: Jl RE Martadinata, Komp Rukan Permata Blok E-1 Ancol, North Jakrata
Phone: 021 625 6215
Fax: 021 645 6216
General Chairperson: H. Dimmy Haryanto
General Secretary: Joseph Willem Lea Wea

The failure of the old PDI to reach the electoral threshold in the 1999 elections automatically stopped the PDI's efforts to participate in the 2004 elections. At that time, they only soced 0.62% of the vote and two legislative seats. However, none of this discouraged the enthusiasm of party members to follow in brightening the general elections. The huge support for Suryadi is one of the factors which followed the birth of Party PDI.

As it happens, the use of the word Struggle [Penegak, lit enforcer] as the name of the party come from a recollection that their there has been a deviation in its democratic path by its political leaders. In Party PDI's assessment the government and politicians are still going it alone. The privatisation of state owned assets is one of the steps which has been opposed absolutely by this party. At least this is illustrated by the vision of the party which aims to uphold Pancasila democracy, political democracy, economic democracy and social and cultural democracy. This party tends to emphasise nationalism with a mission to maintain the NKRI, Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution. In order to make this a reality, the party which claims to have 106,161 members spread across Indonesia and which has passed factual verification in 21 provinces, is convinced democracy can be achieved if the political parties function properly. In order to achieve this, the party will function as a vehicle for political education and the public's aspirations.

12. Indonesian Nahdlatul Community Party – Partai Persatuan Nahdlatul Ummah Indonesia – (PNUI Party)

Basis: Islam
Established: Jakarta, May 5, 2003
Launched: Jakarta, March 5, 2003
Address: Jl Cipinang Cempadak IV No 1, Jatinegara, East Jakarta
Phone: 021 857 1736
Fax: 021 857 1736
General Secretary: KH Syukron Ma'mun
General Secretary: KH Achmad Sjatari

This party was pioneered by the Nahdlatu Ummat Party which participated in the 1999 elections. Unfortunately, the number of votes it obtained in the 1999 elections did not fulfill the electoral threshold. The party scored 0.64% of the vote and won five legislative seats. Despite this the spirit of those who conceived the party was not broken and they went on to establishing the PNUI party which has passed factual verification in 22 provinces.

In drawing in members, the party targets Islamic voters. The evidence of this is its basis which draws significant support from Ikhtikadul Mubaighin and the Islamic mass organisation Nahdatul Ulama. Related to this, the party's strategy in presenting itself to the public has been though a board of esteemed members and Koran recitations. In its effort to broaden its network, in addition to this the branch directors were given full authority to establish new branches. Although tending to target Islamic voters from the lower classes, the party has also opened itself up to non-Muslim circles who whish to become members. In order to attract women voters at least 30% of its candidate board members are women. In choosing its representatives for the 2004 DPR, the party will not only seek representatives who have a commitment to Islam but also those who have a vision of nationhood. Although they have yet to nominate a presidential candidate, the party has a very simple program but one which will also be extremely difficult to achive, that is how to make ordinary people smile.

13. National Mandate Party – Partai Amanat Nasional (PAN)

Basis: Political morality based on a religion which carries God's mercy to all realms
Established: Jakarta, 23 August, 1998
Launched: Jakarta, 23 August, 1998
Address: Jl Tebet Timor Raya No 53, South Jakarta 12820
Phone: 021 8371 0727, 8370 0728
Fax: 021 8371 0729
General Chairperson: H. Mohammad Amien Rais
General Secretary: Muhammad Hatta Radjasa

The 1999 elections represented the first experience in the journey of this party which has the sun for its symbol. At that time they scored 7.1% of the vote and were able to win 34 seats in the MPR.

This electoral success has been strengthened by the character of its general chairperson who was able to draw together political forces through the Central Axis7. With these forces, the party's general chairperson was able to win the position of house speaker in the MPR.

In 2001, the departure of a number of party functionaries had a significant impact on the party and it became uncertain whether the political decisions [of the leadership] were in accord with the ideals of its members. Nevertheless, the party continues to diversifying its program.

In the lead up to the 2004 elections for example, the direct election of the president represents an important advantage for the party which it is convinced will clear a path for Amien Rais to win the presidency. Over an extended period the party has made an effort to draw in members and sympathisers and aquatint provisional members to the party through mass guidance. Though this method it hopes to increase its membership which it claims to to be as many as 11 million people at this time.

14. Functional Party of National Concern – Partai Karya Peduli Bangsa (KPB Party)

Basis: Pancasila
Established: Jakarta, September 9, 2002
Launched: Jakarta, November 3, 2002
Address: Jl Cimandiri Nomor 30 Cikini, Menteng Central Jakarta 130330
Phone: 021 3192 7421
Fax: 021 3193 7417
General Chairperson: HR Hartono
General Secretary: Ary Mardjono

Of the political parties which are listed with the department of justice and human rights, KPB is included as on one of the parties which has fulfilled the KPU schedule. They were the first political party to register with the KPU as a participant in the 2004 elections on September 11, 2003.

The formation of this party was initiated by former army chief of staff retired General HR Hartono, and came out of a social organisation called the Functional Group of National Concern. Its attitude to political change, which it views at the moment as being out of step with the goals of reform, resulted in the formation of the KPB Party. At that time, PKB's existing mass organisations as well as its youth and women's mass organisations, were one of the pillars of the party's strength. Party leaders who are retired members of the armed forces, such as HR Hartono, Ary Mardjono and H. Namuri Anoem S, have made a contribution to the role of the party who's symbol is dominated by the colour green. The majority of the PKB Party's figures are retired functionaries [of the former state ruling party] Golkar. In the 2004 elections, this party will nominate Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana – the eldest daughter of former President Suharto – as a presidential candidate.

15. National Awakening Party – Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB)

Basis: Pancasila
Established: Jakarta, July 23, 1998
Launched: Jakarta, July 23, 1998
Address: Jl Kalibata Timur I Number 12, South Jakarta 12519
Phone: 021 797 4353
Fax: 021 797 4263
General Chairperson: Proffessor H Alwi Abdurrahman Shihab, PhD
General Secretary: H. Saifullah Yusuf

"… we are members of Jam'lyah Nahdlatul Ulama and hereby state the establishment of a political party which emphasises family, nationhood, openness and democracy which has been given the name the National Awakening Party". This was the part of the contents of PKB's declaration which clearly shows that PKB was established as a vehicle for the political aspirations of Nahdliyin. Nevertheless, the party says that will continue to be open to people outside of and from other religions, ethnic backgrounds and groups.

In the 1999 elections, the votes obtained by PKB increased and resulted in it coming in third place after PDI-P and Golkar with 12.6% of the vote. In the 2004 elections, PKB will not be making many changes to its party platform. Democracy without corruption and religious harmony represent sacred articles in PKB's platform. Meanwhile, free education for the poor is also one of the goals of PKB which it hopes will be realised if it succeeds in fulfilling its target of votes in the 2004 elections. In the 2004 elections, the party is aiming to obtain a minim vote of 23.24% by highlighting the personality of former President Abdurrahman Wahid and a number of the country's religious and political figures.

16. Justice and Prosperity Party – Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PK Sejahtera)

Basis: Islam
Established: Jakarta, April 20, 2002
Launched: Jakarta, April 20, 2003
Address: Jl Mampang Prapatan Raya No 98 D-E-F, South Jakarta
Phone: 021 799 5425
Fax: 021 799 5433
Web Site:
General Chairperson: HM Hidayat Nur Wahid
General Secretary: HM Anis Matta

After holding a number of joint actions, the Justice and Prosperity Party and the Justice Party merged into one party on July 3, 2003. PK Sejahtera represents a reincarnation of the Justice Party which was a participant in the 1999 elections. Although in the first elections it succeeded in attracting quite a large number of supporters, the Justice Party was only able get seven of its representatives into the MPR (1.4% of the vote). As a result it did not meet the electoral threshold and the party was forced to form a new party or change its name so it could participate in the next election.

In the past, PK Sejahtera and the Justice Party often held joint actions over a number of international issues with a united vision, that is the party has an influence in terms of being a political force though its participation and role in shaping Indonesian public opinion. With this vision, the party sees its principle role as a missionary party. Meaning a mission which is the principal axis for the party's activities and at the same time reflects the character of its political activists. In the lead up to the 2004 elections, the party has declared its commitment to fulfill the quota for women in its proposed list of legislative candidates.

17. Reform Star Party – Partai Bintang Reformasi (PBR)

Basis: Islam
Established: Jakarta, January 20, 2002
Address: Jl Radio V Kramat Pela, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta
Phone: 021 721 1132
Fax: 021 720 9734
General Chairperson: KH Zainuddin MZ
General Secretary: H Djafar Badjeber

The name Reform Star Party first became known by the public on April 8, 2003, although the party had already been launched a year before. This was because when the party was first launched it used the name PPP Reform. After an internal conflict, PPP reform was divided into the Saleh Khalid-Soeltan Saladin and Zainuddin MZ-Djafar Badjeber camps. The first group then went on to established the Guardian Party of Reform Struggle (Partai Penyelamat Perjuangan Reformasi, PPP-R) and the second chose to change its name to the Reform Star Party.

At the time of its launch, this party which was born out of the disappointment of a number of it members over the results of the second PPP National Working Consultation in 2001, claims to be a merger of the New Indonesia Party (Partai Indonesia Baru), the Indonesian Muslim Community Party (Partai Umat Muslimin Indonesia), the Indonesian Muslim Awakening Party (Partai Kebangkitan Muslim Indonesia) and the Indonesian Republican Party. The party has nominated Zainuddin MZ as its presidential candidate and says that it is supported by scores of non-government organisations and large mass organisation as well as thousands of petty traders in Jakarta. The party which has an icon of the Kabah with five stars above it is determined to improve the quality of the country's national leadership and to strengthen the economy and law enforcement.

18. Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle – Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (PDI-P)

Basis: Pancasila
Established: January 10, 1973
Launched: Jakarta, February 14, 1999
Address: Jl Lenteng Agung No 99, South Jakarta 12610
Phone: 021 780 6028, 780 6032
General Chairperson: Megawati Sukarnoputri
General Secretary: Sutjipto

The emergence of PDI-P under the leadership of Megawati Sukarnoputri cannot be separated from the split which occurred within the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) in 19968. PDI, which represented a fusion between the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), the Indonesian Independence Fighters Association Party (IPKI), the Murba Party, the Indonesian Christian Party (Parkindo) and the Catholic Party9 ended up splitting into two camps. The Suryadi camp continued to use the name PDI and its symbol while the Megawati camp formed a new political party, PDI-P.

The goals of the party, which claims a membership of 10 million, is for an Indonesia which is independent, sovereign, united, democratic, just, prosperous, civilized and strong. As the most popular party which came out of the 1999 elections it is often referred to as the "party of the little people". It is based on the principles of the Pancasila state and the absolute integrity of the NKRI.

Like the earlier elections, its voters in the 2004 elections will be drawn from the mass basis of traditional nationalists as was the case with people who voted for the PNI in the 1955 elections and from the eastern part of Indonesia. The name of Megawati Sukarnoputri therefore, and the high profile of Sukarno, will continue to be a major draw card. With this capital, PDI-P, which succeeded in obtaining the largest number of votes (33.7%) and winning 153 seats in the 1999 elections, is determined to again clench victory in the first round of the 2004 elections. The party is again nominating its general chairperson as the next president.

19. Peace and Prosperity Party – Partai Damai Sejahtera (PDS)

Basis: Pancasila
Established: Jakarta, October 1, 2001
Launched: Jakarta, October 28, 2001
Address: Rukan Artha Gading Niaga Blok B No 10, Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta
Phone: 021 4585 0517
Fax: 021 4585 0518
General Chairperson: Ruyandi Hutasoit
Secretary General: ML Denny Tewu

"Even a foolish person doesn't want to make the same mistake two times in the same place", reads the aphorism which guides this party as contained in one of the party's founding documents. This expression is used in particular to answer the reasons for the establishment of a party with a Christian motif. For this party, one of the errors in channeling the wishes of the Christian community though the role of Christian political figures is that they have been voiced by political parties with nationalistic symbols. To date, these political parties have regarded the Christian elite as being no more than passengers.

On the other had, the founders of the party are concerned at what they see as a moral decadence on the part of the nation's leaders. Society, according to the party, is fed up with, sceptical and has become pessimistic in the face of the situation the nation faces at the moment. PDS feels it has been called on to overcome these problems. They have four pillars which are the basis of their struggle: peace with God, with others, in oneself and with the environment. Uniquely, this party has establish a number of criteria to be qualified as a leader including being economically competent and not smoking.

Hutasoit, the party's general chairperson, was known a leader of the Doulos Foundation which was active in dealing with issues of illegal drugs and mental health problems.

20. Golkar Party – Partai Golongan Karya (Partai Golkar)

Basis: Pancasila
Established: October 20, 1964
Address: Jal Anggrek Nelly Murni No X West Jakarta
Phone: 021 530 2222
Fax: 021 530 3380
General Chairperson: Akbar Tandjung
General Secretary: Budi Harsono

The Golkar party represents a continuation of Golkar from the New Order period which in the past consistently dominated the seats in the legislator. After the New Order regime fell, it came under pressure from social organisations which were anti-New Order in the form of demonstrations and legal actions. In the 1999 elections, the party was able to score 22.43% of the vote or come second to PDI-P. Moreover, in the provinces outside of Java, the party was able to score the largest number of votes.

In the lead up to the 2004 elections, this party is resolved to win the largest number of votes. This resolve has also been demonstrated in the process of selecting presidential candiates, as a result they organised a screening of presidential candidates though conventions. These included the names of candidates such as Akbar Tandjung, Abu Rizai Bakri, Jusuf Kalla, Surya Palloh, Wiranto, Prabowo Subianto and Sultan Hamengku Buwono X.

Under this new paradigm, as well as being an open party, Golkar is determined to create prosperity for ordinary people through improving the quality of life and the education of society as a whole.

21. Pancasila Patriot Party – Partai Patriot Pancasila

Basis: Pancasila
Established: Jakarta, July 1, 2001
Address: Tri Tangguh Building 3rd Floor, Jl H Samali No 31 Kalibata, South Jakarta
Phone: 021 7919 8510
Fax: 021 7919 8520
General Chairperson: KRHH Yapto Sulistio Soerjosoemarno
General Secretary: Sophar Maru

For the Pancasila Patriot Party, passing the factual verification process represented a big step in allowing the party to participate in the 2004 elections. The party who's birth was assisted by cadre from Pemuda Pancasila10 feels optimistic that they will be able to get a hearing from the public, particularly among youth. Looking at the dynamics of youth in Indonesia at the moment, the founders of the party with the symbol of the Garuda11 and shield are convinced that there is still a section of youth who have not decided on their political preference. Therefore this party, which claims a high level of support among young people, has set a target of 5% of the vote in the 2004 elections.

Although the Pancasila Patriot Party and Pancasila Youth are lead by the same people, they still represent two different and independent organisations. The birth of the party, which passed the verification process in 21 provinces, will indeed provide a political alternative for members of Pemuda Pancasila in channeling their political aspirations. It needs to be understood that up until now, Pemuda Pancasila functionaries only knew the Golkar Party as the one tool of political struggle. In accordance with its name, the Pancasila Patriot Party aims to maintain NKRI and uphold Pancasila as the basis of the state.

22. Indonesia Unity Party – Partai Sarikat Indonesia (PSI)

Basis: Pancasila
Established: Surabaya, December 17, 2002
Address: Jl Ampera Raya No 65, Cilandak, South Jakarta
Phone: 021 7884 7138
Fax: 021 780 0106
Web site:
General chairperson: H. Rahardjo Tjakraningrat
General secretary: Moh Jumhur Hidayat

With the declaration by the KPU that they had passed the administrative and factual verification on December 6, it meant that the Indonesian Unity Party (PSI) has the right to battle it out in the 2004 elections. The party, which claims to be an alliance of nine political parties which failed to reach the electoral threshold in the 1999 elections, says it has supporters throughout Indonesia and has leadership board structures in 32 provinces. Out of these 32 provinces only 22 passed the KPU's factual verification.

In its present form, the party which is based on a struggle for principles of religion, nationhood and populism appears to continue to rely on the Indonesian Youth Association, Gaspermindo, PMPB, KOSDI, LPMP and HKTI to attract the largest number of people. Understand that the mass organisations which they claim are the organisational basis of the party's support are also expected to become the principle source of votes for this party. It appears that from this effort and the party's slogan: "Return sovereignty to the hands of the people", they also hope to obtain support from within parliament in the form of Siswono Yudo Husodo's bid as a future presidential candidate being a success.

23. Regional United Party – Partai Persatuan Daerah (PPD)

Basis: Pancasila
Established: December 18, 2002
Address: Jl Dr Satrio No 18, Central Jakarta
Phone: 021 527 3250
Fax: 021 527 3249
General chairperson: Oesman Sapta
General secretary: H. Ronggo Soenarso

The emergence of this now party cannot be separated from the dissolution of the MPR's Regional Representative Fraction after the 2004 elections12. PPD was conceived by a number of figures from this fraction. Moreover, the general chairperson of the party is also the chairperson of the Regional Representatives Fraction.

Another reason for the formation of this party was their perceived lack of attention by the central government on regional issues. Although a new institution will emerge, the Regional Representatives Assembly, these figures are still doubtful that there will be any guarantee that this institution will be able to carryout its function optimally and address regional concerns. The party is also acting in the name of "the party of the regional peoples", but not with the aim of projecting a regional character.

The party aims to create Indonesian development in accordance with the sentiment of the 1945 Proclamation of Independence for the sake of maintaining and strengthening NKRI. In implimenting this goal, the PPD claims to have branches in 24 provinces and 223 at the level of the regency and city. Of this total, 21 provinces have passed the factual verification by the KPU.

24. Pioneer Party – Partai Pelopor

Basis: Pancasila
Established: Jakarta, August 29, 2002
Address: Jl KH Syafai A 22, Gudang Peluru, Tebet, South Jakarta
Phone: 021 829 9112
Fax: 021 830 1469
Web site:
General chairperson: Rachmawati Soekarnoputri
General secretary: Eko Suryo Sanjojo

The party with the spirit of marhaenism cannot be separated from the figure of Rachmawati Soekarnoputri. The third daughter of President Sukarno was better known in the past in the world of education as the head of the Sukarno Education Foundation. During the early part of the reform era in 1998, this Marhaen Youth Movement figure went as far as to state that she did not wish to establish a party. In the lead up to the 1999 elections, Rachmawati continued to reassert her independence and did not join with any of the political parties.

Rachmawati's role in the world of politics began in mid-2001 when she declared the National Forum. There she began to criticize the political elite who according to Rachmawati, were living in an ivory tower. At that time Rachmawati began to demonstrate a position of opposition. When the National Forum assisted in the birth of the Indonesian National Unity Party, Rachmawati became the presidential candidate for the party. In reality she was not included as one of the founders of the party and did not even attend the declaration of the party who's official status as a legal body was canceled in during the verification process by the department of justice and human rights.

It was not until one year later, that Rachmawati established the Pioneer Party which relies for its constancy on the marhaenist urban youth and has promised a position of no compromise with those who have violated human rights, rejects the dual function of the armed forces and police13, and rejects economic dependency on international financial institutions.


1. The term Marhaenism (Marhaenisme) was coined by Sukarno, the founding president of Indonesia. It was derived from the name of a poor farmer, Marhaen, who Sukarno is reputed to have met in the Priangan highlands near Bogor, West Java – a "wong cilik" or "little person" who owned their own means of production but did not become an evil capitalist (ie petty bourgeois). Sukarno used the term to describe his thoughts on a range of ideologies. Like the term "rakyat", the expression still bears emotional connotations for many Indonesians including the traditional supporters of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan), lead by Sukarno's daughter, Megawati Sukarnoputri, and several other parties which call themselves Marhaen.

2. Bung Karno – Brother/Comrade Sukarno. An affectionate term still widely used by Indonesians to refer to the first president of Indonesia, Sukarno

3. Electoral threshold – Article 142 of the 1999 law on general elections stipulates that only political parties which won at least 2% of the vote or 10 seats in the People's Representative Assembly in the 1999 elections qualify to be automatically eligible to run in the 2004 polls. Article 143 also states that those parties failing to pass the 2% electoral threshold are not allowed to contest the next election unless they merge with other parties or change their name.

4. The ideology of Pancasila was devised by President Sukarno and at that time symbolised the process of bringing together Indonesia's hundreds of ethnic groups into a nation under the five principles of belief in one God, humanitarianism, national unity, democracy through consensus and social justice. During the 32 year Suharto dictatorship, Pancasila became an catch all term to define who was and was not loyal to the regime and all political parties and social organisations had to adopt Pancasila as their ideological base.

5. Masyumi Party – An urban based Islamic party dominated by merchants and small capitalists, it scored the second highest number of vote (21%) in the 1995 elections. The party was dissolved in 1960 by Indonesia's founding president Sukarno because of its support of the US backed military rebellions in Sumatra and Sulawesi in 1956. In 1973, the Suharto regime forced Masyumi and Nahdatul Ulama, a conservative, rural-based Islamic party under the control of large landowning families, to merge with other small Islamic parties into the United Development Party (PPP).

6. Kabah – The small cubicle shrine in the Great Mosque of Mecca which contains the famous black Stone of Mecca. It represents the direction (kiblah) to which Muslims turn to pray.

7. Central Axis – A loose alliance of right-wing Islamic parties who in 1999 threw their vote behind former President Abdurrahman Wahid to keep Megawati Sukarnoputri from the presidency allegedly on the grounds of her gender.

8. Following Megawati Sukarnoputri's popular election as chairperson of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) in 1996, the regime of former President Suharto, who feared a PDI lead Megawati (who could draw upon the tremendous popularity of her father Sukarno, the founding president of Indonesia) might threaten the state party Golkar's dominance in the upcoming 1997 elections, sponsored a rebel PDI congress in Medan, North Sumatra, and succeeded in replacing her with their own pro-regime candidate, Suryadi.

9. In 1973 the Suharto regime forced five nationalist and Christian parties to merge into the Indonesian Democratic Party and the four Islamic parties into the United Development Party.

10. Pemuda Pancasila, Pancasila Youth, was formed by the army in October 1959, ostensibly to uphold the state ideology of Pancasila, but under former president Suharto the organisation became an association of notorious thugs and petty criminals who did the dirty work for the regime. The organisation still has close ties with various factions of the military and police, and has been linked to criminal activities such as racketeering and extortion. Members of Pemuda Pancasila are frequently used to attack pro-democracy activists and workers' rights groups.

11. Garuda, a mythical eagle that is Indonesia's state symbol.

12. In the past, the People's Consultative Assembly was made of 500 elected members from the People's Representative Assembly (lower house) plus 200 appointees. Of the total, 135 were regional representatives from the then 27 provinces. The remaining 65 were from so-called functional groups, representing specific sectors of society such as the military, police, ethnic and religious minorities, academics and artists and were appointed by the president.

13. Dual Function (dwi fungsi), refers to the official state doctrine under the Suharto regime that the armed forces has a dual function, namely military defence of the nation and a political role in all civilian affairs.

[Translated by James Balowski.]