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Jakarta Post

Politicians divided on new Islamic coalition

  • Abdul Khalik

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, December 19 2008   /  11:03 am

Some Islam-based parties are pushing for a political coalition to win next year's elections, but others are questioning the relevance of such a sectarian alliance to nurture Indonesia's democracy and pluralism. The Islamic coalition, similar to the axis force that won Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid the presidency in 1999, is driven to reform the poor image and performance of the majority of Islam-based parties in the post-reform era. It will also act as a strong political vehicle for Muslim politicians who require significant support in order to nominate a presidential candidate under a strict new law. Parties have been under pressure to merge since the law ruled that only a party or coalition of parties with 20 percent of seats in the House of Representatives, or 25 percent of popular votes in the legislative elections, would be able to contest the pre...