THE JAKARTA POST
Political parties opposing the Rp 6.76 trillion (US$ 716 million) Bank Century bailout have failed to gain support from the public as trust in legislators' performance remains low, a report on recent surveys shows.
A survey carried out by the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) found that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party was the only party whose popularity had improved after the Bank Century case.
The Democratic Party, which said the bailout was needed to prevent an economic crisis, saw an increase in support to 27 and 32 percent from 21 percent in 2009.
The National Awakening Party (PKB), which also supported the government move to rescue Bank Century, saw supporters increase only slightly from 4 to 5 percent.
"All the parties that opposed the bailout ... suffered a significant decline in total voters compared to 2009 election results," LSI senior researcher Dodi Ambardi said Sunday.
The survey was conducted monthly from January to April among a total of between 1,200 and 2,000 respondents and a margin of error of between 2 and 3 percent.
The report says the results of opposition parties the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) and the People's Conscience Party (Hanura) continued to decline despite their hard work to investigate what they saw as a "scandal".
"The trend is the popularity of the three *opposition* parties has tended to decline," Dodi said.
The declining trend also hit parties in coalition with the government that voted against the Bank Century bailout.
These parties were the Golkar Party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the United Development Party (PPP) and the National Mandate Party (PAN).
According to the report, in April PDI-P supporters had dropped to 9 percent compared to 14 percent in the 2009 election.
Gerindra saw only 1 percent of votes in the survey, down from 4 percent in 2009 election.
"The Golkar Party gained the support of only 11 percent of participants in the April survey, from the 14 percent in last year's election," Dodi said.
The House of Representatives voted that the 2008 Bank Century bailout was illegal and demanded that parties responsible for the bailout decision (including Vice President Boediono in his capacity as then Bank Indonesia governor and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati) face due legal process.
PDI-P legislator Ganjar Pranowo said he was surprised at the LSI findings, and that the survey showed a lack of public knowledge of political issues.
"It seems the public would think differently if the issues were related to their daily lives, such as an increase to the price of fertilizer rather than Bank Century case," he said.
Despite the poor public support, he said his party would continue to monitor the legal process of the Bank Century cases.