Hanura candidates vow to fight graft

People's Conscience Party founder and presidential candidate Wiranto (left) and vice-presidential pick Hary Tanoesoedibjo riding in trishaws with their wives Rugaiya Usman Wiranto and Liliana Tanaja Tanoesoedibjo during their final rally at Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta yesterday.

At their final rally, candidates from the People's Conscience Party (Hanura) took a vow to not be greedy, but to serve the people of Indonesia and fight corruption if elected.

Led by party founder Wiranto, 67, a former commander of the Indonesian Armed Forces, they urged a 25,000-strong crowd at Gelora Bung Karno stadium yesterday to choose clean, competent leaders.

"A victory for Hanura will be a victory for conscience," said the party's presidential candidate.

Although Hanura is the smallest party in the outgoing Parliament, recent polls show that it is expected to hold its own and get a larger share of the votes in its second election on Wednesday.

The party had a new lease of life when media mogul Hary Tanoesoedibjo, who is Chinese and Christian, joined the party in February last year. He is its vice-presidential candidate.

Formed by Mr Wiranto in 2006, Hanura has 17 out of 560 seats in the national Parliament and is expected to get 6.7 per cent of the vote, according to a survey by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. This could put it in fourth place after the leader, the Indonesian Democratic Party - Struggle, and Gerindra and Golkar.

Observers attribute the expected rise in Hanura's numbers to an advertising blitz on television, billboards and buses.

Although the chances of Hanura fielding candidates in the July presidential election is slim, it is unclear whether the party will form a coalition with a larger party to meet the crite-rion of having 25 per cent of votes.

In 2004, Mr Wiranto ran for president on the Golkar ticket, and was the vice-presidential running mate from Hanura to then Golkar chair Jusuf Kalla in 2009.

Yesterday, Mr Wiranto and Mr Tanoesoedibjo arrived in trishaws, in an attempt to display that they had the common touch. In TV ads, Mr Wiranto appeared as a pedicab driver and a bus conductor to show that he understood the concerns of ordinary folk.

Speaking before Mr Wiranto, Mr Tanoesoedibjo outlined Hanura's plan to transform Indonesia into a developed nation in 10 years. He aims to attain economic growth of 8 per cent to 9 per cent yearly, up from 6 per cent in recent years, by helping small and medium-sized enterprises, creating jobs and boosting tourism.

"We are not growing at our maximum potential," he said. "Indonesia must change."


This article was published on April 6 in The Straits Times.

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