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Jakarta Post

Elite power struggles ‘main driver’ behind resurgence of Islamic parties

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, November 12, 2020   /  09:19 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Jakarta gubernatorial candidate Anies Baswedan (right) sings on stage alongside his running mate, Sandiaga Uno (left), together with the self-styled king of dangdut, Rhoma Irama, who also heads his own political party, the Peaceful and Benign Islam (Idaman) Party, in a campaign event in Cibubur, Jakarta, on Feb. 2, 2017. The Anies-Sandi ticket eventually won following a bitter contest mired by mass rallies staged by the Islamic right.(Antara/M.Agung Rajasa)

After the recent declarations of the Masyumi Party and the Ummah Party, no one would be faulted for thinking that a resurgence of Islamic politics is in motion.   But this is only half of the story, as the elites of Islam-based parties remain mired in power struggles amid efforts to secure the Muslim vote in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, experts have said. On the weekend, the Masyumi Party was revived sixty years after its dissolution by then-president Sukarno, with the chairman of the party’s preparatory committee, Ahmad Cholil Ridwan, describing it as an ideological Islamic party. Masyumi was among the parties that participated in Indonesia’s first general election in 1955 and was considered at the time a platform to unite Islamic voices in the country. It was later dissolved over its alleged affiliation with a rebel group. It’...