Indonesia Legislative Elections Rundown

Indonesia’s legislative elections went off without a hitch on April 9. For everyone, that is, except for the PDI-P. It will be awhile until we know the full results, but these results will be interpreted as disappointing for PDI-P supporters and their fellow travelers. Look at this:


We don’t know the seat shares for 2014, just the vote shares, and these are just provisional still. It seems that PDI-P (the bright red) will get the plurality of the votes, but it won’t even crack 20%. As I tweeted when I saw the numbers,

I’ll admit that I’m surprised—when I wrote about what “the Jokowi effect” could mean last month, I was careful to say that

There are lots of “ifs” in this scenario. It is a long shot, simply because the structural constraints are really strong — in a country with lax party discipline and fluid partisan attachments, it is unlikely that power-seeking retired generals and businessmen will give up the parties that they have spent so much money to create.

What I did not expect, of course, was that PDI-P would fail to reach 20% of the popular vote. This is one of the “ifs” that I hadn’t anticipated.

There is little more that I could add that hasn’t been said by others who watched the vote unfold, and from 10,000 miles away from the action, there’s no real on-the-ground insight that I can provide. I’d recommend four quick reads for those interested in learning more from those who were there.

  1. Ed Aspinall at New Mandala
  2. Marcus Mietzner at New Mandala (Basically, read everything at New Mandala Indonesia.)
  3. Jeffrey Winters in the Financial Times
  4. Sandra Hamid at the Asia Foundation