Indonesia votes

Ruling coalition backing Jokowi on track to win most seats in early counts

Elephants being used to transport election materials in Trumon, southern Aceh, yesterday. People turning up to cast their votes at a flooded polling station in Bandung, West Java. Officials counting ballot papers at a polling station in Bendungan Hil
Elephants being used to transport election materials in Trumon, southern Aceh, yesterday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Elephants being used to transport election materials in Trumon, southern Aceh, yesterday. People turning up to cast their votes at a flooded polling station in Bandung, West Java. Officials counting ballot papers at a polling station in Bendungan Hil
People turning up to cast their votes at a flooded polling station in Bandung, West Java. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Elephants being used to transport election materials in Trumon, southern Aceh, yesterday. People turning up to cast their votes at a flooded polling station in Bandung, West Java. Officials counting ballot papers at a polling station in Bendungan Hil
Supporters of incumbent President Joko Widodo celebrating outside one of the main campaign centres in central Jakarta yesterday, as quick-count results indicated victory for him in the polls. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Elephants being used to transport election materials in Trumon, southern Aceh, yesterday. People turning up to cast their votes at a flooded polling station in Bandung, West Java. Officials counting ballot papers at a polling station in Bendungan Hil
Officials counting ballot papers at a polling station in Bendungan Hilir, central Jakarta. The official results are expected only next week. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

PDI-P has taken the lead in legislative race and looks set to better its 2014 performance

Indonesia's ruling coalition, which backs President Joko Widodo, is on course to win the most seats in Parliament in the legislative race, based on quick counts yesterday.

The country's biggest party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), took the lead in the parliamentary elections, which were held simultaneously with the presidential polls for the first time in the world's third-largest democracy.

The PDI-P was one of the 16 parties in the legislative election, competing for 575 seats in the House of Representatives or Parliament.

PDI-P has grabbed 20.87 per cent of the votes, according to the quick counts by the research arm of Kompas newspaper based on 60.65 per cent of the ballot data sampled.

The party's internal survey found between 23 per cent and 25 per cent of support for the party, PDI-P secretary general Hasto Kristiyanto told reporters in a Kompas TV live broadcast.

In the 2014 legislative elections, the PDI-P won 18.95 per cent of the votes.

Political observers attributed the party's improved performance to the coat-tail effect of Mr Joko's candidacy in the presidential race.

 
 

The result, if later confirmed, will allow the party to secure more seats than the 109 out of 560 seats, or 20 per cent of the then House, it secured in 2014.

The PDI-P is led by former president Megawati Soekarnoputri, the daughter of Indonesia's founding president Sukarno.

The PDI-P's coalition parties, such as Golkar and the National Awakening Party (PKB), secured 11.94 per cent and 9.62 per cent, respectively, according to Kompas.

Golkar, the country's second-largest party, now controls 16 per cent of the seats in Parliament.

In the opposition camp, Gerindra, which is led by Mr Joko's rival Prabowo Subianto and currently has 13 per cent of the parliamentary seats, has garnered 12.78 per cent, with 60.65 per cent of the quick-count results in.

Other allies of Gerindra, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and National Mandate Party (PAN), have secured 8.5 per cent and 6.45 per cent, respectively.

Mr Noory Okthariza, a political expert at the Jakarta-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said the configuration of Parliament may remain similar to the current state if the quick-count results are confirmed by the final results.

 
 

"As the ruling coalition is the majority in Parliament, there should be no significant hurdles for the government to implement programmes and policies," he said.

He added that in the second term, Mr Joko, with a stronger mandate from the people and major back-up in Parliament, will be more confident in running the government.

"As he is in his final term, he will also have nothing to lose," Mr Noory said. "We hope he will be more brave and decisive in his leadership."

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2019, with the headline 'Ruling coalition on track to win most seats in early counts'. Print Edition | Subscribe