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Page last updated at 17:46 GMT, Saturday, 9 May 2009 18:46 UK

Democrats win Indonesia election

By Lucy Williamson
BBC News, Jakarta

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono waves to supporters during a campaign rally in Indonesia on 3 April 2009
The result is a boost for the president

Official results in Indonesia's parliamentary elections confirm the president's Democrat Party in first place with 20.85% of the vote.

Its two main rivals - the PDIP and Golkar - both trail with around 14% each of the vote.

The election marked a huge surge in support for the Democrats - who entered the political race just five years ago.

That has sparked some intense jockeying for position ahead of the presidential poll in two months' time.

This result - long predicted - has already turned the current presidential partnership on its head.

Support tripled

Five years ago the Democrats contested their first election and came away with just 7% of the vote. To boost their political weight in the presidential race back then, they teamed up with the grand old party of Indonesian politics, Golkar, and won.

Now the Democrats have tripled their support and surged ahead of their heavyweight partner. That has sparked a mad scramble for political allies ahead of the presidential race in July.

The newspapers here have gleefully reported every twist in the political saga. Every accusation of arrogance, every declaration of commitment and act of political adultery by the candidates. And still not much is clear.

July's race is likely to see the current President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, run against former president Megawati Sukarnoputri.

But who they will pick as running-mates is still more rumour than fact. Newcomers like military general Prabowo Subianto have been heavily under the spotlight, as has the head of the Islamist PKS party.

The current Vice-President, Yusuf Kalla, meanwhile has been struggling to hold together his fracturing Golkar party, while pitching his own run at the presidency.

It may be messy, but a decade on from Indonesia's democratic revolution, that is probably no bad thing.



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SEE ALSO
Indonesia coalition talks 'near'
13 Apr 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Celebrity role in Indonesian election
05 Apr 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Timeline: Indonesia
22 Apr 09 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Indonesia
05 Mar 09 |  Country profiles

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