17 June 2004

Yudhoyono Maintains Lead In Indonesia

The team of former security minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and welfare minister Jusuf Kalla continues to lead all candidates in Indonesia, according to a poll by the Democracy Study Institute (LKaDe). 45.17 per cent of respondents would support Yudhoyono and Kalla of the Democratic Party (PDI) in the country's first-ever direct presidential ballot.

Current president Megawati Sukarnoputri and Muslim leader Hasyim Muzadi of the Struggling Indonesian Democratic Party (PDIP) are second with 18.88 per cent, followed by Amien Rais and Siswono Yudohusodo of the National Mandate Party (PAN) with 15.90 per cent. Former armed forces chief Wiranto and Solahuddin Wahid of the Party of the Functional Groups (Golkar) garner the support of 10.56 per cent of respondents. Hamzah Haz and Agum Gumelar of the United Development Party (PPP) are fifth with 4.70 per cent.

This is completely unexpected, not that SBY would be leading, and in striking distance of the 50% needed for a first round victory, but that Mega has drawn ahead of the Golkar campaign machine. Today's Australian that Golkar is fragmenting between supporters of Wiranto, supporters of Akbar Tandjung, and Golkar members shifting their support to Yudhoyono.

Indonesian politics, even after the reformasi that followed Suharto's falls, remain clientilistic. Leadership flows from your ability to deliver influence and rewards from higher level leaders to your own supporters. The trailing candidates, and this includes Wiranto, can expect to see their people shifting towards higher-placed candidates over the three weeks still to go.

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