Widodo's party misses threshold to contest Indonesian presidential poll, legislative vote count affirms

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 May, 2014, 6:02am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 May, 2014, 6:02am

Final results from Indonesia's legislative election confirmed that the main opposition party had won, but failed to secure enough votes to put forward its presidential candidate Joko "Jokowi" Widodo without a coalition.

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) won 18.9 per cent in last month's voting, the election commission said, short of the 25 per cent threshold needed to allow the hugely popular Jakarta governor to run as president on July 9.

The PDI-P's failure to secure a decisive victory has led to some concern in financial markets that Southeast Asia's biggest economy is in for a period of political horse-trading. Both stocks and the rupiah have lost ground since the vote.

However, the party quickly found a coalition partner, making Widodo the only candidate so far able to meet the threshold, while other political parties have bickered with each other.

Shortly after the election results were announced, the small National Democrat (NasDem) party, which won 6.7 per cent, reaffirmed that it was backing the PDI-P and Widodo.

"We have already announced our coalition with PDI-P and … with the official results, we confirm our alliance with PDI-P," NasDem party executive Ferry Baldan said.

Widodo is expected to name his vice-presidential candidate soon. Several names are in the fray, including that of popular former vice-president Jusuf Kalla.

Candidates and their running mates must be registered by May 18. If no candidate wins a simple majority, there will be a second round in September.

The PDI-P's closest rivals in the parliamentary vote were Golkar, once the vehicle of the long-serving Suharto, on 14.8 per cent, and Gerindra, led by ex-general Prabowo Subianto, with 11.8 per cent. The two parties have met to discuss the potential for a coalition but have not come to any agreement. Prabowo is running a distant second to Widodo in opinion polls, but will also need the support of at least one other party to be able to run.

Friday's results also confirmed the sharp decline of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party, after a series of graft cases last year. Yudhoyono must step down this year after serving two terms.

His party's share of the vote fell to only 10.2 per cent from above 20 per cent in the previous election.