Party chief's polygamy turns off voters: Indonesia

Party chief's polygamy turns off voters: Indonesia
Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq, former president of one of the Indonesia's Islamic party, Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).

JAKARTA - A political gimmick or not, Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) chairman Anis Matta's decision to go public with his polygamous life does not seem to bode well for the Islamic party's future in the upcoming election.

A recent series of messages on Twitter posted by PKS deputy secretary-general Fahri Hamzah on Anis' polygamous life with his second wife Szilvia Fabula has instead further tarnished the party's image following the beef import graft case that implicated Anis' predecessor, Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq.

A number of eligible voters in Jakarta said that messages on Twitter and a picture of Anis with his Hungarian wife that spread widely over social media outlets had made them unwilling to vote for the PKS.

"Showing off a polygamous life to the public is not a good branding strategy. This will further degrade the PKS' position in the political arena, in addition to the party's former chairman now being behind bars for committing graft," Dyah Pamela, an employee for a private company in Central Jakarta, told The Jakarta Post.

She said she had put the party on her own blacklist and she was firm on not voting for any person from the party.

Sophia Moeljono, a writer and movie enthusiast, echoed Dyah, saying that polygamy and corruption was a perfect recipe for losing supporters.

She said that in the wake of the beef import case, the party should have tried to repair its broken image to attract support instead of promoting the polygamous lifestyles of its members.

"As a woman, I'm also afraid that Anis showing his second wife is a campaign to show people that it is fine to have the same lifestyle, and that it could be a trend among the party's cadres and, perhaps, for everyone," she told the Post.

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