WHILE THE ISLAMIC Republic of Iran is still being embroiled with political troubles, another quite influential Islamic nation-state is gearing for its Presidential Election or PilPres (PEMILU) next week.
The Republic of Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim population of over 200 million and third-biggest democracy (after the United States and India), will elect its next President for a new 5-year term. The incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), who is seeking his second term in office, has unpredictably chosen a political-unknown, Central Bank Governor Boediono, as his Vice-Presidential running mate. SBY is pretty much leading by a comfortable margin in Indonesian public opinion polls.
Former President Megawati Sukarnoputri is seemingly confident to give SBY a run for his money in the country’s only second direct Presidential elections. However, money is no problem for the leader of Golkar Party and current Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla who is determined to have a go at the Presidency, having been overshadowed by President SBY for the past five years. Another influential figure still very much in the running for the Indonesian Presidency is Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, the Governor of Yogyakarta. Both Ibu Megawati and Pak Kalla have chosen former military strongmen as their Vice-Presidential running mates — former Special Forces’ Commander and Lt-Gen Prabowo Subianto in Megawati’s camp while former Indonesian military chief, Wiranto is Jusuf Kalla’s choice as his Vice-President-to-be (dubbed JK-Win team). But both Prabowo’s and Wiranto’s army experiences are no match to President SBY’s superior military intelligence expertise! 😉
In a nutshell, incumbent President SBY is reportedly enjoying majority popularity ratings in private surveys being conducted, leading to the July 8th elections. However, the other two presidential candidates, Megawati and Kalla respectively, may also spring ‘unpredictable’ surprises in a week’s time! One thing’s for sure, Indonesia will never be another Iran… 🙂
P.S. Somehow my gut instincts point to JK-Win although Vice President Jusuf Kalla is trailing far behind President SBY! 😉