- Discover Indonesia Online

You are currently in > Just a blog about Indonesia > A guide to the 2004 elections

JAKARTA - Indonesia faces three national elections in 2004, including a presidential vote, but they are unlikely to bring fundamental change. Citizens are increasingly disillusioned with the half-decade of democracy and “money politics” they have experienced since the collapse of Soeharto’s authoritarian New Order.
The first election, on 5 April 2004, will fill almost 16,000 seats in legislatures at the national, provincial and district levels. The second, on 5 July 2004, will be its first direct presidential vote ever. If, as is almost certain, no candidate meets the criteria for election in the first round, a run-off between the top two vote-getters will take place on 20 September. The process needs to be completed before President Megawati Soekarnoputri's term expires on 20 October.
Public disillusionment with the performance of democratic government since the first post-authoritarian election in 1999 has been spreading rapidly. The elected government is widely seen as having failed to cope with the massive challenges that the nation is facing. Elected politicians at all levels are commonly perceived as venal and corrupt. And the ordinary people who constitute the poor majority complain that democracy has not brought any improvement in their economic welfare. Indeed, a credible public opinion poll indicated that 58 per cent of respondents believe that conditions were better under Soeharto's New Order.
Political reformers have called for a thorough overhaul of the constitution and the electoral system to ensure that leaders are responsive and accountable to the voters. The most important reform has been the adoption of direct presidential elections in place of the indirect system that was mired in the backroom dealing of political parties and “money politics”.
Reform of elections to the legislatures has been more limited. Apart from the removal of appointed military and police representatives, those bodies will be elected through proportional representation, much the same way as before. The main difference is that the old province-based constituencies will be reduced in size in the large provinces so that representatives, theoretically at least, will be closer to their constituents. This limited reform, however, may entrench rather than overcome the political fragmentation that has bedevilled post-authoritarian democracy.
Public opinion surveys indicate that the two leading parties in 1999 – President Megawati's PDI-P and Golkar, the party of the Soeharto government – are again likely to occupy the top positions. However, the polls suggest that many who voted for the underdog PDI-P in 1999 have been alienated by its behaviour and are returning to Golkar.
Among potential presidential candidates, Megawati retains the most support, but the gap is narrowing. Golkar, however, has been unable to capitalise on its growing support because of inability to determine its presidential candidate. The party's chairman, Akbar Tanjung, is appealing against a three-year prison sentence for corruption. Meanwhile seven potential candidates (including Akbar) remain in the race for the party's nomination, which will be determined only in April 2004.
Six months ahead of the first round of the presidential election, four possible scenarios suggest themselves.

  • If the PDI-P clearly wins most votes, it is likely that Golkar will be satisfied with the vice-presidency and will join a coalition supporting the re-election of President Megawati.
  • If Golkar wins more votes than – or roughly the same number as – PDI-P, it is likely to nominate its own presidential candidate. Following Golkar's “pre-convention” in October 2003, retired General Wiranto has emerged as a leading candidate.
  • The second possibility, however, could lead to a nightmare for Golkar. If it nominates its own candidate, Megawati could respond by offering her party's vice-presidential nomination to a Golkar candidate, perhaps Akbar Tanjung or Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Jusuf Kalla. This could not only split Golkar's votes, but lead to a major division within the party itself.
The PDI-P's nightmare scenario, on the other hand, follows from the first scenario above. A Megawati-Golkar team would almost certainly come out far ahead of its nearest rival in the first round of the presidential election although without sufficient support to win outright in that round. The candidate running second might take only 10 to 15 per cent of the votes but could then launch an “Anyone-But-Mega” campaign in the second round. Such a campaign could mobilise Muslim votes against the secular-nationalist Megawati. The most dangerous potential run-off rival for Megawati would be the current chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly, Amien Rais, although his prospects of reaching the second round seem bleak. Another dangerous rival would be Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs General (Ret.) Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, if his tiny Democrat Party is able to secure the backing of one of the larger parties. In December 2003 another possible challenger emerged, former President Soeharto’s eldest daughter, Siti Hardijanti Rukmana, but her chances look slim at this stage.
Whatever the result of the presidential election, the next government will be based on a coalition of rival parties. In the absence of a strong leader capable of imposing cohesion on such a government, its performance will be hamstrung by many of the problems that hampered the previous three.

Posted in Politics @ 18 January 2004 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

There are no reactions on this blog entry yet. Be the first one to give a reaction here!

Log in to write a reaction

You are not logged in to the website. You have to be logged in to write a reaction on this blog entry.

· If you already have an account, please login.
· If you have lost your password, please retrieve it.
· If you don't have an account yet, you can create one.

Add this blog entry to your email, your own blog, MySpace, Facebook, or whatsoever via AddThis:
Bookmark and Share

e-mail updates for this blog article

Login if you want to receive emails for reactions on this blog entry. You will receive an update as soon as a reaction on this blog entry is posted.

Your website for tickets in Indonesia!
Looking for e-tickets for flights in Indonesia? Here's your solution! Order your e-tickets at
· 2015, 28 entries
· 2014, 591 entries
· 2013, 750 entries
· 2012, 1061 entries
· 2011, 792 entries
· 2010, 644 entries
· 2009, 916 entries
· 2008, 504 entries
· 2007, 725 entries
· 2006, 1014 entries
· 2005, 723 entries
· 2004, 558 entries
· 2003, 525 entries
· 2002, 375 entries
· 2001, 162 entries
· gigolo
· jakarta
· blogger
Automatically generated every hour
· General (1205 entries)
· Economy (643 entries)
· Politics (574 entries)
· Accidents (561 entries)
· Terrorism (541 entries)
· Earthquake (539 entries)
· Volcanoes (387 entries)
· Crime (357 entries)
· Corruption (349 entries)
· Flooding (278 entries)
· Elections (276 entries)
· Travel (268 entries)
· Bird Flu (254 entries)
· Religion (242 entries)
· Tourism (239 entries)
· Oddly enough ... (219 entries)
· Violence (198 entries)
· Drugs (196 entries)
· Health (192 entries)
· Aceh conflict (191 entries)
· Environment (185 entries)
· Weather (171 entries)
· Military (168 entries)
· Protests (157 entries)
· Culture (106 entries)
· Garuda Indonesia (91 entries)
· C. Sulawesi conflict (86 entries)
· Human rights (82 entries)
· Forest fires (78 entries)
· Sidoarjo mudflow (71 entries)
· Power supply (64 entries)
· Ramadan (63 entries)
· PT Freeport (55 entries)
· Picture guess (48 entries)
· Maluku conflict (47 entries)
· History (37 entries)
· Dengue Fever (37 entries)
· Infrastructure (36 entries)
· Polio (35 entries)
· Mexican flu (35 entries)
· Website (25 entries)
· Media (22 entries)
· Nuclear power (21 entries)
· Sports (20 entries)
· Sexy (16 entries)
· SARS (15 entries)
· Nightlife (10 entries)
· Others (5 entries)
· Lippo Cikarang (5 entries)
· Close smallest categories
EUR-IDR: 16,590 · 16,620  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 18:12 CET
JPY-IDR: 126.83 · 126.95  The Rupiah rate improved since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 21:58 CET
MYR-IDR: 3,545 · 3,549  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 15 May 2018 08:42 CET
SGD-IDR: 10,479 · 10,501  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 07 May 2018 07:48 CET
THB-IDR: 439.14 · 439.41  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 16 May 2018 09:18 CET
USD-IDR: 14,097 · 14,157  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 00:46 CET
Go to 'exchange rates' 
·  At 10 November 2020 16:59 AdvocaatHulp reacted on Three more bodies of AirAsia victims to Surabaya hospital
·  At 14 July 2020 08:32 newnight reacted on Three more bodies of AirAsia victims to Surabaya hospital
·  At 20 September 2018 06:54 erik12 reacted on Fuel prices lowered, again
·  At 19 October 2015 17:17 imambudianto5 reacted on Bank Indonesia maintains benchmark interest rate at 7.75%
·  At 04 March 2015 19:18 merdekaSah reacted on Alleged terrorists shot dead three villagers in Poso
·  At 04 March 2015 13:11 Yogya-Bali reacted on Alleged terrorists shot dead three villagers in Poso
·  At 26 February 2015 13:02 Irena reacted on Sexy, a young woman with candy
·  At 08 May 2014 09:51 jstar reacted on No alcohol should be sold in warung
·  At 01 May 2014 10:07 jstar reacted on Indonesia to be among the top 10 peacekeeping contributors
·  At 27 March 2014 05:50 harlys reacted on PPP leader voices concern over Islamic parties' future
·  At 10 March 2014 06:11 Yogya-Bali reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 09 March 2014 00:11 Yerun reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 08 March 2014 20:33 nicknick reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 18 February 2014 04:17 Yerun reacted on Ash from Mount Kelud eruption spreads over all of Java
·  At 16 February 2014 05:41 Amed East Bali reacted on Ash from Mount Kelud eruption spreads over all of Java
·  At 14 February 2014 22:27 Anne Mieke reacted on Asylum seekers in Medan wish to be sent to Australia
·  At 14 February 2014 22:22 beritaislam reacted on Asylum seekers in Medan wish to be sent to Australia
·  At 16 January 2014 15:37 Anne Mieke reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 15:21 Yerun reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 15:05 Anne Mieke reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
Go to 'forum topics' 

Created by · feedback & contact · © 2000-2021
Other websites by · · ·

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional 144,774,178 pageviews Discover Indonesia Online at