Democracy on the right track: Yudhoyono

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other Indonesian citizens express satisfaction with peaceful electoral process.

By Andhika Bhakti for Khabar Southeast Asia in Jakarta

April 19, 2014
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Outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is confident Indonesia's burgeoning democracy will be intact no matter who replaces him. He expressed satisfaction with peaceful legislative elections on April 9th.

  • Election officials tally votes at a Jakarta polling station on April 9th. [Bay Ismoyo/AFP]

    Election officials tally votes at a Jakarta polling station on April 9th. [Bay Ismoyo/AFP]

"Our democracy is now becoming more mature. Our journey toward democracy is on the right track," he said after voting in Nanggrak Village in Bogor, West Java.

"If we can have peaceful and violence-free elections in 2004 and 2009, hopefully we will have it now as well. Elections are a time when we can choose our leader," he said. "Every citizen will have high expectations with this."

Democracy in action

About 75% of Indonesia's 186 million eligible voters participated in the April 9th election, up from 71% in 2009, according to the Jakarta Post, which cited a quick count conducted by Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Cyrus Network.

Voters across Indonesia visited 550,000 polling stations to choose members of the 560-seat House of Representatives (DPR), the 132-seat Regional Representative Council (DPD), and local legislatures.

"By voting today, we are also determining the national political parties that will compete in the next presidential election on July 9th," said Golkar Party Chairman and presidential candidate Aburizal Bakrie.

Ical, as he is known, congratulated Megawati Sukarnoputri, whose Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) took 19% of the vote. Golkar came in second with 14.4%, according to the Cyrus-CSIS count.

The Greater Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party came in third with 11.9%, followed by the ruling Democratic Party (9.6%) and the National Awakening Party (PKB) (9.3%). The General Elections Commission (KPU) will announce final results in the second week of May.

No party won enough votes to field a presidential candidate without forming a coalition.

Voters energised

Many praised the peaceful and orderly voting in the fourth national election since the New Order ended in 1998.

"I am glad that the 2014 legislative election went well, with no violence," said Jakarta resident Vera Hartini.

Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi said voters were energised to elect a new leader and bring about change in their country.

"People are getting smarter, and they are now more ready" to participate fully in Indonesia's democracy, he said.

Adrianto Wahid, a political science graduate student at University of Indonesia, described the scene on Election Day, which the government declared a holiday.

"I have seen thousands of people flocking to the different polling places. I see a lot of excitement," he said. "This moment is a good moment to re-energize our spirit and to appreciate the transitions in democracy."

Reader Comments
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    • asamson
      April 19, 2014 @ 08:04:11AM
    • Pardon me, a democracy of quantity means casting aside the bloodlines of the true leaders of this country who have been appointed by Allah SWT. Remember, the true leaders exhibit special characteristics such as righteousness, intelligence and trustworthiness that are inherent within the prophets and their bloodlines. In this country means the bloodlines of the sultanates and the nine guardians. The analogy is this: all that exists around us possess natural traits. For example, true nobles possess traits such as patience and serenity. Their physical characteristics, such as eyes, nails and forehead etc are different. The analogy: the tips of the ace tree leaves are dry whereas those of the rambutan trees are not. A tiger or a cat also possess traits and temperaments. A tiger will mate with a tiger and their offspring will be a tiger, never a cat with all its traits. A tiger would not make the "meow" sound unless Allah wishes it and this is natural. A turtle dove from Katuranggan, Kediri, Tuban, Majapahit, Pajajaran, Demak, etc. will have different colored circular markings around their eyes and have different ways of perching. This demonstrates different traits and behavior. The vetiver that grows in Garut will not be as fragrant when planted elsewhere. Silk from Bantul is the best in the world and has its own characteristics. Do not democratize holy earth with state earth, we are not even supposed to mix them because holy ground is the gift from the prophets and guardians. The proof is that worship in Mecca and Medina will be rewarded many times over. The point is that, unlike the devils, we should not interfere with what has been determined by Allah. The best democracy is democracy of quality by searching out the bloodlines of the true leaders and then selecting those who have the strongest faith. We originally had two kinds of intelligence (the mind and heart) whereas the westerners have only their minds.

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