Editorial: For Parties, Still Plenty to Gain From Joining Joko

By Jakarta Globe on 12:58 am Aug 23, 2014
Category Editorial, Opinion

The Constitutional Court has upheld the General Election Commission (KPU)’s decision to name Joko Widodo as the country’s new president. And the coalition backing losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto has also stated that — although unhappy with the ruling — it would respect the court’s decision.

However, it is clear that in order to ensure that policies and programs by his administration will run smoothly, Joko needs additional support.

Political parties that may still join Joko’s coalition are the Golkar Party, the Democratic Party and the National Mandate Party (PAN).

Golkar has been the ruling party for more than three decades during Suharto’s era, and it has joined every government since. Ready to rule, and lacking experience as an opposition party, many Golkar politicians are pushing the party’s leaders to now side with Joko.

PAN needs to join Joko’s camp because, as a medium-sized party, it needs a big vehicle to rebound after its chairman Hatta Rajasa lost his vice presidential bid.

Democratic Party members have in recent days shown their interest in joining Joko’s camp, although initially some of them showed strong support for Prabowo. Joining Joko would help the party regain some of its declining popularity following a string of debilitating graft cases.

Joko has vowed to establish a clean and professional government that focuses on improving services and the welfare of the people. If he can indeed build such a constructive environment in his administration, there’s no doubt the people will grant him a second term in office as well. And parties joining his coalition may also reap the rewards of being part of what should become a powerful movement for positive change in Indonesia.