No easy win for PDI-P in Indonesia elections
INDONESIA'S main opposition party was on course to win the most votes yesterday in parliamentary elections but less convincingly than expected, meaning it might have to make deals with other parties to nominate its candidate for president.
The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) took 19.5 per cent of the vote, according to one unofficial tally, known as a "quick count", by pollster Indonesia Survey Circle.
It had so far counted about 82 per cent of a sample of votes from some 2,000 polling stations.
However that figure is lower than recent surveys had predicted and, if confirmed, could make it harder than expected for PDI-P candidate and Jakarta governor Joko Widodo to become president.
A party needs 25 per cent of the national vote or 20 per cent of the seats in the Lower House of Parliament to be able to field a presidential candidate on its own.
Nevertheless the 52-year-old seemed happy with his party's showing, telling reporters: "Thanks be to God that the people have put their trust in the PDI-P."
The Democratic Party of current president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono looked on course for a huge loss, with the tallies giving it around 10 per cent, which is half of its share in the 2009 legislative elections.
The two main parties behind PDI-P were Golkar at 14 per cent, one-time parliamentary vehicle of the long-serving Suharto, and Gerindra, which is led by former general Prabowo Subianto, at close to 12 per cent.
The quick count also showed that the five Islamic parties had won 32 per cent of the vote, up from 29 per cent for eight such parties contesting the 2009 election.
Millions earlier streamed to polling stations across the huge archipelago, which stretches across three time zones, from remote and mountainous Papua in the east to the crowded main island of Java and to Sumatra in the west.