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Jakarta Post

Political parties: From the battle for independence to the battle of the elites

  • Margareth S. Aritonang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, August 17, 2020   /  09:52 am
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Seven of nine parties – the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the Golkar Party, the Gerindra Party, the NasDem Party, the National Awakening Party (PKB), the United Development Party (PPP) and the National Mandate Party (PAN) – are part of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration, leaving most, if not all, of Jokowi’s policies unchallenged. (JP/-)

“Documenting 75 years of resilience” is a series of special reports by The Jakarta Post to celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day, August 17, 1945. Political parties in Indonesia were first established to galvanize the people and foster Indonesian nationalism, which led to independence in 1945. But far from being about the people, contemporary political parties, in the eyes of the public, work more for the political elites. The first political party, the Indische Partij, established by E. F. E Douwes Dekker, Tjipto Mangunkusumo and Soewardi Soerjaningrat (later Ki Hajar Dewantara) was established in 1912 to foster nationalism. The party was declared subversive in 1913 and both Tjipto and Soewardi were exiled to the Netherlands. Later parties include the Indische Sosial Democratishe Vereniging (ISDV), established in 1914, the Indische Katholike Partij in 1918, t...