PDI-P may get one-third of popular vote, says think-tank

PDI-P may get one-third of popular vote, says think-tank
Supporters of PDI-P attending a party rally last Saturday in West Java, Indonesia. The party looks set to enjoy a clear lead in the general election, helped by the Jokowi Effect - the naming of the hugely popular Mr Joko Widodo as its presidential candidate.

Indonesia's PDI-P is set to enjoy a clear lead in the April 9 general election, and could get 33.4 per cent of the popular vote, a leading think-tank said yesterday.

This large margin would put the next government in a strong position to appoint more technocrats as Cabinet ministers instead of having to bring in allies from smaller parties to help lead the country, an analyst at Jakarta's Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said.

This could make it easier to formulate and push through better government policies.

The Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P) has led all polls in recent months, but the CSIS survey carried out in the middle of last month was the first to overlap with the campaign period, and has PDI-P garnering more than 30 per cent of total votes, if Jakarta Governor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo was its presidential pick.

"If the PDI-P is strong it need not accommodate other parties to form a fat, unwieldy coalition like SBY (President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) did in 2009. If PDI-P is brave enough to go on its own (with few parties) they can form a Cabinet that is professional," Dr Philips J. Vermonte, head of politics and international relations at CSIS, said at a news conference.

He and two other CSIS researchers presented the surveys findings. The res- pected think-tank polled 1,200 people from Indonesia's 33 provinces.

In the survey, the Gerindra party led by former Indonesian special forces chief Prabowo Subianto is expected to emerge in second place with 15.5 per cent of the votes. In third place would be Golkar, led by tycoon Aburizal Bakrie, with 15 per cent.

The survey found that the Democratic Party of Dr Yudhoyono would likely be placed sixth among the 12 parties, with 3.2 per cent of the votes. This is a sharp drop from the 20.4 per cent garnered by the Democrats in the 2009 election.

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