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Indonesian opposition party leads parliamentary poll

Indonesia’s opposition Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) leads parliamentary polls but its star candidate may face a tougher path to the presidency, early election results indicate.

The party secured between 19-20 per cent of the vote, unofficial tallies show.

But it is not clear if it will meet the 25 per cent voting threshold to enter Joko Widodo in the presidential election on July 9 by itself.

The official election results will be announced in May.

Some 19,000 seats were contested across Indonesia in Wednesday’s polls, including the 560 seats in the national parliament.

According to the unofficial tallies, the opposition Golkar party came in second place, followed by the Great Indonesia Movement Party.

Support for the ruling Democratic Party of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono – who cannot serve a third term as president – fell by half, however.

Yudhoyono told reporters that he respected the early results.

“Let’s honour the result of this election and be ready to accept new national leadership that will lead the nation to be better,” the Associated Press news agency quoted him as saying.

Islamic parties also appeared to have performed better than expected, together grabbing about a third of the national vote.

“This confirms that 30 per cent support is a natural level for Islamic parties as there are still some parts of the country where they remain popular,” political analyst Douglas Ramage told Reuters news agency.

The parliamentary polls are key to deciding which parties can field presidential candidates. Parties must either secure 25 per cent of the total vote or 20 per cent of the seats in parliament.

Candidates whose parties fail to meet these thresholds must form or enter a coalition before they can run for president.

Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo is seen by many as Indonesia’s next president. He told reporters on Wednesday that his party was “widely open” for a coalition.

“It is not possible for PDI-P to work alone. We have to co-operate with those having the same platform,” he said.

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