‘Parties of no value in presidential election’
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Voters will likely give political parties a miss in the 2014 presidential election and look closer at the personal qualities of candidates, a survey has found.
In the National Survey Institute’s (LSN) latest survey, only 1.7 percent of the respondents said they would consider a candidate’s political party background when deciding on who to vote for in the election.
The majority of respondents said the individual qualities of candidates mattered more than the political parties that nominated them.
The LSN interviewed 1,230 respondents from the country’s 33 provinces between Sept. 4 and Sept. 20.
Forty-two percent of the respondents said they would look for a candidate with the capability to solve the nations’ problems quickly. In the survey, 14.5 percent of the respondents said they would vote for a candidate according to personality. Only 8 percent of the respondents cared about a candidate’s track record.
“When it comes to the presidential election, the candidates themselves are more important than the political party,” LSN executive director Umar S. Bakry said on Monday.
The majority of respondents also considered President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono a failure and wanted a new leader who was willing to take risks. More than 55 percent of the respondents said Yudhoyono moved too slowly to solve the country’s problems.
“Therefore, figures whose personalities contrast with SBY are likely to have a favorable rating in the 2014 election,” Umar said, referring to the President by his initials.
One politician who could be considered the complete opposite to Yudhoyono is Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) chief patron Prabowo Subianto. It is thought that if the presidential election were to take place today, he would come out on top.
The survey found that 20.1 percent of the respondents favored Prabowo, a former Army general. Trailing behind Prabowo is Wiranto, chairman of the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), with 12 percent, besting Jusuf Kalla, who only got 9.4 percent. Former president Megawati Soekarnoputri from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and Aburizal Bakrie from the Golkar Party collected 8.8 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively.
Other opinion polls have tracked the growing popularity of Prabowo.
Umar said that Prabowo and Wiranto topped the LSN survey because respondents considered them to be of presidential quality given their military backgrounds.
Responding to the growing electability of former military generals with poor human rights records, analyst Siti Zuhro at the Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI) said that voters longed for New Order-like stability.
“During the New Order era, our political condition looked very stable on the surface. People kind of miss that,” Siti said in a phone interview.
Siti, however, warned that the public should also be critical in responding to opinion poll results, as they were prone to be abused for political gain. (riz)