Democratic Party Won’t Win in 2014: Poll
With just over a year to go until the 2014 legislative election, the Democratic Party appears unlikely to reclaim its top spot, with a new survey corroborating earlier polls that suggested that the ruling party would finish in third place.
The results of a poll, conducted by Saiful Mujani Research & Consulting and released on Sunday, gave the party of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono just 8.3 percent of the vote — less than half of the 20.8 percent it won in 2009.
Topping the poll was the Golkar Party, with 21.3 percent, and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), with 18.2 percent. In the last election, these parties finished second and third behind the Democrats with 14.4 and 14.0 percent, respectively.
Djayadi Hanan, the research director of SMRC, said that the nationwide poll of 1,220 respondents aged 17 and above was carried out from Dec. 6-20, and had a 3 percent margin of error.
“The two parties with the biggest decline [since the 2009 election] are the Democrats and the PKS [Prosperous Justice Party],” he said. “On the other hand, we’re seeing a continued rise in popularity for Golkar and the PDI-P.”
The results of the SMRC survey confirm other polls predicting Golkar and the PDI-P as the big winners next year, with the Democrats struggling just to break double digits.
An SMRC survey in October showed Golkar on top with 14 percent, followed by the PDI-P with 9 percent and the Democrats with 8 percent.
Also in October, the National Survey Institute (LSN) gave the Democratic Party just 5.9 percent of the vote, behind Golkar with 18.1 percent, the PDI-P with 14.4 percent and the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) with 12.5 percent.
The Democrats waning popularity has been attributed to a litany of corruption cases in which several of its members have become mired, in contrast to the antigraft platform that the party ran on in 2009.
Muhammad Nazaruddin, the party’s former treasurer, was convicted in a bid-rigging case last year, and in the process implicated other senior party members in a raft of graft scandals.
One of those was Angelina Sondakh, a deputy secretary general, who was herself convicted and jailed last month in a separate bid-rigging case.
In December, Andi Mallarangeng, a Democratic Party stalwart, resigned as the youth and sports minister after being named a suspect in a corruption case centering on the construction of a sports center. Nazaruddin and a host of witnesses from his and Angelina’s trials have repeatedly implicated Anas Urbaningrum, the Democratic Party chairman, in the same case, but he has yet to be named a suspect.
Currently standing trial for bribery is Siti Hartati Murdaya, formerly on the party’s advisory board and the key financier behind Yudhoyono’s successful reelection bid in 2009.
Djayadi attributed the party’s sliding poll numbers to the corruption cases, saying a key point highlighted in the latest survey was that “the Democratic Party has failed to assuage public opinion about its members’ implication in graft cases.”
Ahmad Mubarok, a member of the party’s advisory board, which Yudhoyono chairs, conceded that the scandals had impacted the party immensely.
He added the party would use the results of the survey as feedback in its bid to clean up ahead of the 2014 polls.