”All surveys and polling shows there are no parties can gain more vote on coming election but PKS. Some survey assure that PKS will get not less than 10 percent of vote on 2009,” an editor of political issue confirm me few days ago.
In some and other ways I agree with him. Beside two major parties, Golkar Party and Indonesia Democratic Party on Struggle (PDIP), other parties including Islamic parties have no solid achievement to maintain what they already got back in 2004 general election.
The Justice and Welfare Party (PKS) which amazingly gain 7 percent of vote in 2004 election, considering they only managed to raise under 3 percent in 1999 election, had proved themself not just a debutante, but the next true rival for major parties. Off course Democrat Party (PD) has done better to raise more than 8 percent from merely nothing, thanks to charismatic persona of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono then become the president. But without Yudhoyono, and with burdens from his unpopular governmental policies for the coming elections, PD’s future is questionable.
As other Islamic parties such National Mandate Party (PAN) and National Awakening Party (PKB) evidently will be paralyzed by internal friction that split their vote. Both parties gather support from the followers of two biggest Islamic organizations.
PAN which depend on the Muhammadiyah’s people vote now face a new emerging party got support from some elite members and young activist of Muhammadiyah called the Nation’s Sun Party (PMB). Din Syamsuddin, leader of Muhammadiyah, the second largest Muslim group, always state that Muhammadiyah will not lean to any political parties including PAN which claimed being born, at lease helped to be born, by Muhammadiyah.
PKB gain support from the follower of biggest Muslim group Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) but they fail to keep 12.6 percent of vote in 1999 election down to 10.5 percent of vote in 2004. Now they face the worse case. Battered by many internal conflict resulting two party chairman being disbanded by the party’s patron who took the high council leader, Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur), PKB’s future is uncertain.
The recent conflict between some party’s elite led by the chairman Muhaimin Iskandar, and still against Gus Dur, will definitely sunk half of their 2004 vote. Despite Muhaimin won the party’s legal dispute, it will be harder to win Gus Dur’s follower’s heart.
Sun and Crescent Party (PBB) who claimed as the continuation of legendary Masyumi parties, the largest Islamic party once succeed to combine all Muslim organizations, will just find it hard only to maintain their 2 percent vote in 2004 elections, let alone to raise more voter’s support. PBB supported from smaller Muslim organization such as Persatuan Islam (Islamic Union) which only build stronghold in West Java and some part of West Sumatera.
United Development Party (PPP) which survive through Suharto’s repressive regime still got no momentum to support their target of 15 percent vote in 2009 elections. This numbers is their best achievement against the government backed Golkar Party back in 1997, the last elections of Golkar superiority.
PPP depend on support from some Muslim organizations and also from some NU’s traditional supporter during Suharto era. Despite their capability to maintain 8.3 percent of vote in 2004, some PPP’s elite said their supporter majority was getting old and the support from the youth seems hard to get. ”PPP still an oldies party for the older”
Back to PKS, what make it so promising? First, they were backed up by the youngsters movement, especially students. The PKS’s cadre so extensively recruit new members even before they got into college. Taking advantage from the strong religion teaching promise heavenly reward, PKS can run their party without substantial amount of money. The cadre are willingly donate their belonging for the party which considered also for the sake of religion, Islam.
Second, comparing with other parties, even with Islamic parties, PKS still can claim the most clean party regarding to many scandal of corruption, gratification an bribery lingering the house of parliament. With their tagline, clean and care, PKS seems found a way to attract non party afiliated and the new voters.
PKS also known with their social programe in this disaster mongered country. Their cadre can be found where the disaster struck, even in the hit hardest spot. Proudly bear the PKS logo, either in Tshirt or flag, they build emergency health care center run by medical student and doctors who works voluntarily to help the people and raise party’s popularity.
PKS root can be traced back to early 1980, although the true cause still can be traced further. Some Islamic preachers form a religion training movement called tarbiyah succeed to attract students in universities. Their movement then build stronghold in university’s grand mosque. The tarbiyah student manage to win student organizations election such student senate and begin to put their cadre on top positions of many students organizations.
After Suharto fall, tarbiyah movement decide to build an Islamic party called Justice Party (PK) in 1999 but fail to pass the electoral threshold in 1999 election for just having less than 2 percent of vote. To follow the election bill, PK change their name a bit and then become PKS. In 2004 election they gain more than 7 percent of vote and face next year election with bold confidence.
Their party leader put ambitious target of 20 percent of vote in 2009. If become true, PKS will be the at the same league with PDIP and Golkar. PDIP and Golkar can only manage to get 18 and 20 percent of vote in 2004 and they put another 10 percent hike next year.
All parties has their own internal problem, including PKS. Despite the cadre unquestion loyalty to the party leader which always taken care by the preachers, grass roots cadre start questioning the pragmatical policies run by party’s elite. A joke describe two main fractions in PKS nowadays, the justice fraction and the welfare fraction. It is a mere joke, but enough to reflect what happen inside.
More political power means more access to financial sources, legal or not. Despite the holy cause, party needs money to lubricate their political engine. More domestic elections in every province and municipal that cannot be win without big campaign. It means the need of a lot of money no cadres can meet. And money interest always start trouble.
But that is the common poblem with all party. PKS still got a chance to materialized their big potential to another election success. The next question is, what will PKS do if they could raise 10 percent of vote? Of course, the bigger part in government. If Yudhoyono only give three minister position to PKS on his cabinet, in 2009 PKS will likely hunt for vice president positions.
And they have prepared Hidayat Nur Wahid, former PKS president now as chairman of People’s Consultative Assemby (MPR), for the next vice president with all cost. I mean, PKS will build alliance either with Golkar or PDIP, even with Yudhoyono’s grim future PD. It is not about holy politics, its all about power.