News / Asia

Indonesian Political Sniping Helps Presidential Hopeful Jokowi

FILE - Jakarta governor and presidential candidate Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo.
FILE - Jakarta governor and presidential candidate Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo.
Reuters
Indonesian presidential frontrunner Joko “Jokowi” Widodo looks to be getting some extra help from the bickering that threatens to undermine his chief rivals to become the next leader of the world's third biggest democracy.
          
No political party managed to win the required number of votes in this month's general election to be allowed to nominate on its own a candidate for the July 9 presidential poll, forcing them to cut deals with other parties.
          
Only Jakarta governor Jokowi's Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P) has managed to find a partner to lift him above the threshold needed for a nomination.
          
A smooth path to the presidential palace for Jokowi, whose huge popularity rests on his clean, can-do image, would likely cheer foreign investors eager to see a smooth transition in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.
          
Ex-general Prabowo Subianto, of the Gerindra Party and distant second to Jokowi in opinion polls, late last week seemed to have won the backing of the head of the country's oldest Islamic party, the United Development Party (PPP).
          
That infuriated other senior members of PPP who then suspended their chief for not consulting them first.
          
“We are discussing a coalition with Gerindra but... at the moment are still open to all possibilities,” said Emron Pangkapi, acting chairman of PPP.
          
Even if the party does back Prabowo, he will still need the support of at least one other party to run for the presidency.
          
The son of one of the country's most prominent economists, Prabowo has been accused of human rights abuses during the unrest that led to former authoritarian ruler Suharto's downfall in 1998, allegations he denies.
          
Candidates and their running mates must be registered by May 18. If no candidate wins a simple majority in the July race, there will be a second round in September.
          
The enthusiasm for Jokowi, despite no indications of what his policies as president would be, was underscored by the more than 3 percent jump in Jakarta shares when his party nominated him as its candidate for the presidency on March 14.
          
However, they fell afterwards when his party failed to do as well as expected in the April 9 parliamentary vote.
          
Infighting
          
The other major party in the running is Golkar, whose official presidential candidate is business tycoon Aburizal Bakrie.
          
Bakrie faces a growing chorus of voices within the party calling for him to be replaced as presidential nominee and blaming his stubbornly low popularity for the party's weaker-than-expected showing in the parliamentary poll.
          
One Golkar official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue, said there may be a move to oust Bakrie, but for now the party was focused on finding coalition partners.
          
Golkar has secured the backing of Hanura, a small party led by another former general, Wiranto. Like Gerindra, it will need to bring on board at least one other party to nominate a presidential candidate.
          
Jokowi's easy approach with ordinary people has made the former furniture businessman a favorite for the presidency. He is seen by many as a welcome change from the old guard of elitist politicians who have long dominated Indonesian politics.
          
Focus has already shifted to his choice of running mate. Several names are in the fray, including that of popular former vice-president Jusuf Kalla.

You May Like

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid