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Islam and Democracy in Indonesia

Islam and democracy are said to be in a relationship fraught with problems as the former, allegedly, does not allow secular law to be put above divine law or accept the legitimacy of worldly authorities. This relationship is less problematic in Indonesia, a democratic Muslim-majority country, the argument goes, due to the syncretic forms of Islam practiced in the archipelago state that are less dogmatic, and hence more conducive to democratic principles. While this is a valuable point, various factors extraneous to ‘moderate Indonesian Islam,’ such as a fragmented Islamic authority in civil society, a weakly institutionalized party system as well as dynamics triggered by recent institutional reforms all play a role in the continuing insignificance of political Islam in the country.

Islam and Democracy in Indonesia
The ease with which democracy is thriving in Muslim-majority Indonesia is usually ascribed to the moderate forms of Islam Indonesians have adopted.

Indonesia is the largest Muslim-majority country in the world. Home to approximately 230 million people of which more than 85% follow Islam, there are almost as many Muslims living in Indonesia as in the entire Arab-speaking world combined.1 Sunni Islam is the predominant branch of Islam, with only around one million Indonesians being Shia. There is a wide array of other forms of Islam, including significant numbers of Sufi communities.2 The major fault line, however, lies between santri who adhere to orthodox forms of Islam while the abangan practice more syncretic versions of Islam.3 

Indonesia is also the world’s third largest democracy after India and the United States of America. Since the authoritarian regime of President Suharto collapsed in 1998, the most immediately visible change in Indonesian politics has been the implementation of an extensive regulatory framework that directs both executive and legislative elections. In April 2009 Indonesia conducted the third legislative election of the post-Suharto era. As in 1999 and 2004, the recent election featured a nationwide legislative election for the national parliament, the senate-like Regional Representatives Assembly, and for the parliaments at the provincial, district and municipal level. Furthermore, direct elections for regents and mayors were held in 486 out of 510 regencies and municipalities and governor elections in 15 out of 33 provinces throughout the last few years. By the end of 2008, all the leaders of sub-national executive governments had been directly elected by the Indonesian people.4 Finally, presidential election took place in 1999, 2004, and 2009. 

In addition to the introduction of elections, which were all regarded as reasonably free and fair, the independence of the media was restored while various reform initiatives strengthened human rights and increased opportunities for the political participation of civil society. In short, overall developments throughout the last decade point towards ever expanding democratic freedom for Indonesian citizens.5 

One of the main reasons why Islam and democracy have entered into such a joyous relationship in Indonesia is the fragmentation of Islamic authority in Indonesia’s civil society

These developments are reflected in the position Indonesia currently holds in democracy ratings where it was given the highest ranking of all Southeast Asian countries in the latest reports from both Freedom House and Polity IV.6 In fact, Indonesia is an ‘electoral overachiever’ in the Muslim world overall, as is shown in Table 1.7

Against this backdrop, Indonesia presents itself as an interesting case study in a broader debate about the relationship between Islam and democracy. The two are said to rarely go together, due to a theological lack of state-religion separation, as Ahmet T. Kurushows in his discussion of the recent literature on this topic in this volume.8

The ease with which democracy is thriving in Muslim-majority Indonesia is usually ascribed to the moderate forms of Islam Indonesians have adopted. “Much of the literature during the twentieth century portrayed the [Indonesian] Muslim community in largely benign terms. There were several interlinked aspects to this approving commentary. The first remarked on the myriad ways in which local Muslim communities had ‘indigenised’ Islam, blending it with pre-existing religious practices to produce richly distinctive variants. Moreover, this Indonesianized form of Islam bore none of the severity and rigidity attributed to Middle Eastern forms, earning it praise for its moderation and tolerance. Some scholars even approvingly observed that large numbers of Muslims appeared lax in their devotions and heedless of all but the most basic requirements of Islamic law,” Greg Fealy and Sally White note.10 

The perception that it is mainly the peculiarities of Indonesian Islam that make it compatible with democracy is reflected in a growing number of surveys and studies conducted since 1998 that set out to show that Indonesian Muslim are against the implementation of shari’a laws,11 dislike parties with an Islamist platform,12 and embrace the ecumenical Pancasila ideology of the Indonesian state.13 

Notwithstanding the fact that many such analyses ignore the radical and sectarian tendencies that have become increasingly visible in Indonesian Islam in recent years,14 the overall argument that it is the syncretist nature of Indonesian Islam, and the moderation and tolerance that stems from it, which allows democracy to flourish in the archipelago remains popular.15



Dynamics Exogenous to Islam Shaping Relationship between Religion and Politics

While the peculiarities of Indonesian Islam certainly play a role in why democracy fell on fertile grounds in Indonesia, factors not inherently related to the forms of Islam practiced in the archipelago have to be also taken into account. These include the fragmentation of Islamic authority in civil society, a de-institutionalized political party system, as well as institutional developments of recent years related to state reform, all of which have prevented radical Islam from gaining political ground. 

Fragmentation of Islamic authority in civil society

One of the main reasons why Islam and democracy have entered into such a joyous relationship in Indonesia is the fragmentation of Islamic authority in Indonesia’s civil society.16 The absence of a unified Islamic center is partially rooted in the country’s history. The diversity of Indonesian Islam is usually seen as a result of the way the Islamic conversion occurred in the archipelago. Due to the absence of an overarching kingdom with centralized authority, the Islamization of the population was subject to various kinds of influences and accommodations with pre-Islamic beliefs and practices in the different parts of the country. The policy of the Dutch colonial powers to deny Indonesian rulers state-based authority over the institutions of Islamic worship, pilgrimage, schooling, and jurisprudence further prevented a state-based, unified form of Islam to emerge in Indonesia. This pattern has become even more distinct due to developments of recent years. In contemporary Southeast Asia, “established ecclesiastical hierarchies...are in crisis, their hegemonies under threat...It is no exaggeration to speak of tectonic shifts in the politics of religious knowledge, or...the democratization of religion.” writes John T. Sidel.17 In Indonesia, Sidel continues, this has manifested itself not only in the abolishment of formal and informal restrictions upon religious life18 but also in the emergence of new sources of religious authority19 and a renewal of forms and patterns of religious practice and clerical mediation.20 Consequently, religious notables saw their monopoly over religious affairs evaporate and, as a result, their influence has diminished over the last decade in both Java,21 the heartland of the country, and Outer Island Indonesia.22 

The dispersion of power and the “fragility of the social structure”23 become especially visible during elections. In the gubernatorial elections in the South Kalimantan province in 2005, for example, the influence of religious figures, the tuan guru, was marginalmainly due to the excessive proliferation of Islamic ‘authority’ figures in the province. “It is hard to know whether the voters chose particular candidates because [the voters] followed their tuan guru or for other reasons...[T]he candidates...applied other strategies, including financial inducement by distributing money directly to the voters or television sets to local village heads, and by financing small infrastructure construction projects, such as...roads,mosques and schools. Apparently, [the candidates] realized that support from tuan guru per se would not be enough to attract the voters, especially when every team had a tuan guru”, Ahmad Muhajir writes.24 At the same time, Indonesian voters have frequently abandoned religious figures in past years if they disagreed with their political affiliation. 

Deinstitutionalized party system 

The fragmentation of Islamic authority in Indonesian civil society described by John T. Sidel and others, and the weakening of influence resulting from it, is exacerbated by the low institutionalization of Indonesia’s political parties. 

Profound shifts in patterns of power accumulation and exercise in Indonesian politics since the demise of the authoritarian New Order regime in 1998 have led to the collapse of party machines throughout the archipelago.25 Direct elections for legislative and executive positions at all levels of government have introduced real competition to Indonesian politics for the first time since Indonesia’s short experiment with democracy under President Sukarno in the early 1950s. Today, figures with political ambitions are no longer oriented towards national-level political ‘bigwigs’ when looking for support but have to ‘work’ the electorate on the ground if they want to stand a chance of winning on election day. These new dynamics have not only increased the costs for the ‘business of governing’—candidates now have to pay campaign expenses, favors to be allotted to power brokers, and cash for vote-buying out of their own pocket—but also led to a personalization of party politics.26

Parties in present-day Indonesia display personalistic characteristics. Party cadre at the local level are generally not affluent enough to run in elections, given the high costs the newly democratic political environment imposes on candidates. It is therefore well-off figures from outside political parties who buy up nominations prior to elections.27 Consequently, party discipline is largely absent in Indonesia, despite attempts by national party leaders to control such centrifugal forces through the centralization of party internal decision-making structures.28 

The individualization and commercialization of Indonesian party politics in combination with the low institutionalization of the party structures has had various repercussions. Election campaigns cluster around figures, not political entities. As candidates come and go from one election to another, so do parties. Hence, voters are floating between parties. This has not only crippled what weakly developed social roots Indonesian parties had anyways,29 but has also made it increasingly difficult to mobilize voters based on programmatic platforms. Party platforms have become highly susceptible to outside influences due to the fact that many of the candidates have only loose links to the party on whose ticket they are running for political office. In such an environment it is very difficult for Islamic parties to push through certain ideological doctrines.

At the same time, the aforementioned dynamics have led to rampant money politics. It is of little surprise that a growing number of Islamist party candidates have been caught up in this web of vote-buying, illegal party financing and ‘black campaigns’. To be mired in the type of horse-trading, backroom deal-making and political corruption to which they aspired to offer an alternative has greatly damaged the reputation of Islamic parties that were popular with the Indonesian electorate precisely due to their pledge to refrain from such practices.

Institutional reform and fragmentation of Islamist parties

Recent developments related to institutional reform of the Indonesian state have perpetuated the dynamics described above. Reforms of the party law and various election regulations have both shaped the relationship between Islam and democracy in Indonesia. 

The Indonesian party law adopted after the demise of President Suharto a decade ago does not allow for the establishment of local parties. A party can only become a legal entity if it is registered with the justice ministry, includes women in at least 30% of central leadership posts, establishes nationwide leadership rosters, and has chapters in at least 60% of the country’s provinces, at least 50% of the regencies in the aforementioned provinces, and at least 25% of the sub-regencies in the aforementioned regencies, according to the Indonesian Law on Political Parties No. 2/2008. As most Islamist movements in Indonesia are locally based, this institutional framework prevents them from establishing organizational structures that would allow them to participate in politics in an effective manner. The Preparatory Committee for the Implementation of Shari’a Law in South Sulawesi province, dubbed the most active local movement struggling for the implementation of Islamic law in Indonesia, has failed to establish a political presence in the province precisely because it is not allowed to form official party structures. 

A more important factor, however, in Islam-democracy relations in Indonesia are the various decisions the Indonesian government has issued to regulate elections. After the demise of President Suharto in May 1998, the government introduced a closed-party list proportional representation system for the country’s elections. Hence, in the 1999 legislative elections “voters punched the symbol of the party of their choice and the party later decided who would be the actual individual occupying the seat, most of whom were the clients of the top party leaders,” Sherlock notes.30

Revising the election law prior to the 2004 elections, the national parliament opted for a system of open-party list proportional representation. Open-party list systems allow voters to see whom a party has nominated as candidates. The Legislative Election Law No. 12/2003 gave voters the possibility to select a party on the ballot and then to also select one of the 10 legislative candidates listed for each party. Hence, in the 2004 legislative elections a candidate would be allocated a seat regardless of her ranking on the party list if she received sufficient votes to surpass 100% of a pre-defined divisor.31 

However, the provisions outlined in the Legislative Election Law No. 12/2003 had no real impact as most candidates were allocated a seat in assemblies based on their position on a party’s candidate list. In fact, only two out of 550 parliamentary members passed the divisor in the 2004 elections and obtained a seat in parliament due to the number of votes they gathered. In other words, problems associated with the Indonesian election system remained the same. Party list rankings were fraught with political corruption and party internal dynamics loomed large in determining the outcome of elections.

The fragmentation of Islamic authority in civil society, low party cohesion and various institutional reforms have all greatly diminished the chances for programmatic politics in Indonesia

Against this backdrop, the national parliament passed Legislative Election Law No. 10/2008 on March 3, 2008. Article 214 stated that candidates for the 2009 elections no longer had to surpass 100% of the divisor to be allocated a seat but lowered the threshold for seat allocation to 30% of the divisor. In short, the Legislative Election Law No. 10/ 2008 greatly increased the chances of elections based on personal votes. There was, however, still some weighting for party list rankings. 

In December 2008, the Indonesian Constitutional Court declared party list weighting in violation of the Constitution and annulled Article 214 of Law No. 10/2008. De facto, the party list ranking system was abolished. Hence, only the number of votes determined a candidate’s opportunity to secure a legislative seat in the 2009 parliamentary elections. This subjugated Indonesian elections to a most-open list system. An (unintended) consequence of this system is that a single non-transferable vote election is now taking place within parties in Indonesia. In other words, intra-party competition has increased tremendously due to the new institutional setting. To mobilize the electorate on a broad, coherent and party-wide programmatic platform, Islamic or otherwise, has become an extraordinary challenge due to the fierce competition between individual candidates from the same party.



Islamic and Islamist Parties: Declining Votes in Recent Elections

What exactly constitutes an Islamic party in Indonesia is subject to debate. A 2004 Indonesian newspaper article classified Islamic parties into the following categories: orthodox Islamic parties, which included the Crescent Star Party (PBB, Partai Bulan Bintang); progressive Islamic parties, which included the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS, Partai Keadilan Sejahtera); traditional Islamic parties, which included the Indonesian Nahdlatul Community Party (PPNUI, Partai Persatuan Nahdlatul Ummah Indonesia), the United Development Party (PPP, Partai Persatuan Pembangunan), and the Reform Star Party (PBR, Partai Bintang Reformasi); modernist Islamic parties, which included the National Mandate Party (PAN, Partai Amanat Nasional); and nationalist-religious parties including the National Awakening Party (PKB, Partai Kebangitan Bangsa).32 Nevertheless, of the 38 parties that were competing for national assembly seats in the April 2009 elections, four parties had an explicit Islamic platform, namely, the Crescent Star Party (PBB), the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), the Indonesian Nahdlatul Community Party (PPNUI), and the United Development Party (PPP).

The absence of a monopoly over Islamic authority has led to a proliferation of Islamic notables, thereby weakening the importance and influence of such figures

The fragmentation of Islamic authority in civil society, low party cohesion and various institutional reforms have all greatly diminished the chances for programmatic politics in Indonesia. This has had repercussions for both Islamic and Islamist parties. 

Islamic parties such as the PKB and the PAN, and the mass organizations Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah they are respectively affiliated with, have seen their political influence constantly dwindle in the last few years. This is most impressively shown by the election results over the last decade for East Java province, a traditional Nahdlatul Ulama stronghold, where the Nahdlatul Ulama-affiliated PKB has lost its grip over the masses. PKB’s share of the vote in legislative elections in this region declined from 36% in 1999 to 31% in 2004 and only 12% in 2009. 33

Likewise, more radically oriented Islamist parties have failed to mobilize the electorate and consequently saw their share of votes decline considerably in the general elections in April 2009, as is shown in Table 2. Some Islamist parties such as the PBB even fell below the 2.5% electoral threshold and will therefore not be represented in the 2010-2015 assembly. The most successful Islamist party of the 2004 elections, the PKS, increased its share of votes only marginally from 7.3% to 7.8% between 2004 and 2009. The results, however, were still a far cry from the anticipated 15% to 20%.34 Overall, Islamist parties saw their share of the vote wane to 24% in 2009 from 32% in the 2004 elections.




Various developments exogenous to ‘Indonesian Islam’ have allowed this Muslim majority country to steer a democratic course in recent years. The absence of a monopoly over Islamic authority has led to a proliferation of Islamic notables, thereby weakening the importance and influence of such figures. If everyone is using Islam in her election campaign, then no one is using Islam in her election campaign.

Likewise, the weak cohesion of political parties and the new pressures such organizations have become exposed to in recent years, have made it difficult to engage in programmatic politics. Both Islamic and Islamist parties (as well as secular parties) depend on clientelistic strategies to mobilize the electorate. This greatly undermines their Islamic message and credibility.

Finally, the preference vote system recently adopted introduced a strong element of personalism into a political system that was already characterized by centrifugal forces, pushing away from faith- or issue-based campaigns. Both Islamic and Islamist parties have been weakened by fierce intra-party competition triggered by the most-open party list system introduced last year. 

Consequently, both Islamic and Islamist parties in the regions will likely come and go, their fates determined primarily by the individuals and families to whom they hook their carts. Party organizations will remain weak, as power holders have no incentive to develop a competing locus of authority. Consequently, votes will show high levels of volatility from election to election, as parties remain unconnected to the electorate. 

Even if an Islamist party should acquire a significant amount of votes (i.e. 15% to 20%), the proportional representation system in Indonesia makes it also very unlikely that a party with a minority of votes can form a government. This is different in a first-past-the-post voting system, such as in neighboring Malaysia, where a candidate simply has to win more votes than any rival in his or her area, not a majority of votes cast.

To summarize, the reason why Islam and democracy seem to go well together in Indonesia has as much to do with broader dynamics within civil society, political parties and state institutions as it has to do with the syncretist, hence moderate forms of Islam practiced in the archipelago. 




  1. Anna M. Gade, Perfection Makes Practice: Learning, Emotion, and the Recited Qur’an in Indonesia, (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2004), p. 1.
  2. Martin van Bruinessen, “Saints, politicians and Sufi bureaucrats: mysticism and politics in Indonesia’s New Order,” Martin van Bruinessen and Julia Day Howell (eds.), Sufism and the ‘modern’ in Islam, (London: I.B.Tauris, 2007), pp. 92-112.
  3. Clifford Geertz, The Religion of Java, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997).
  4. The Asia Foundation, “Elections and good governance in Indonesia,” retrieved September 28, 2009 from
  5. Michael Buehler, Countries at the Crossroads: Indonesia (Freedomhouse, Washington D.C., forthcoming).
  6. Freedomhouse, “Combined Average Ratings: Independent Countries in 2009,” retrieved September 26, 2009 from; Polity IV, Polity IV Country Report 2007, “Indonesia,” retrieved September 26, 2009 from
  7. Modernization theories state that the more well-to-do a nation, the greater the chances it will sustain democracy. In other words, as a country’s wealth increases so does the degree of electoral contestation. It is therefore important to control for GDP when comparing cross-nationally. Against the backdrop of its relatively modest GDP, Indonesia is an ‘electoral overachiever’. See Stepan and Graeme B. Robertson, “An ‘Arab’ More than ‘Muslim’ Electoral Gap,” Journal of Democracy, Vol. 14, No. 3, p. 33. 
  8. Islamism usually denotes the mobilization of contention to support Muslim causes and is often understood as being anti-democratic in its worldview. Islamization, however, simply means the strengthening of conservative Islam, not necessarily of Islamist elements. It is therefore compatible with democracy. See Andreas Ufen, “Mobilising Political Islam: Indonesia and Malaysia compared,” Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, Vol. 47, No. 3, p. 309. 
  9. Alfred Stepan and Graeme B. Robertson, “An ‘Arab’ More than ‘Muslim’ Electoral Gap,” pp. 31-44.
  10. Greg Fealy and Sally White, “Introduction”. In Greg Feally and Sally White. (eds.), Expressing Islam: Religious Life and Politics in Indonesia (Singapore, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2008), p. 1. 
  11. Reuters, “Poll: Indonesian Muslims More Secular In Politics; Support For Sharia Declined,” retrieved September 28, 2009 from Secular_In_Politics__ Support_For_Sharia_-71005001. 
  12. Mujani, Saiful and William R. Liddle, “Politics, Islam, and Public Opinion,” Journal of Democracy, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 109-123.
  13. Pancasila comprises five principles held to be inseparable and interrelated, namely belief in the one and only God; just and civilized humanity; the unity of Indonesia; and democracy guided by the inner wisdom in the unanimity arising out of deliberations amongst representatives and social justice for the whole of the people of Indonesia.
  14. In a recent report, the Wahid Institute in Jakarta identified 232 instances in 2008 alone where individuals or groups, generally of the radical Islamic variety, tried to force their beliefs on others through legislation or violence. This marked an increase compared to 2007 that reported 197 such cases. See Wall Street Journal Asia, “Radicalizing Indonesia,” retrieved September 27, 2009 from Various discriminatory shari’a by-laws have been passed in recent years. Most recently, in September 2009, the parliament of Aceh province issued a by-law that endorses the stoning to death for adultery and caning of up to 100 lashes for homosexuality. Amnesty International, “Indonesia must repeal ‘cruel’ new stoning and caning law,” retrieved September 28, 2009 from
  15. Mark R. Woodward, “Indonesia, Islam, and the Prospect for Democracy,” SAIS Review, Vol. XXI, No. 2, pp. 29-37. See also Bernhard Platzdasch, “Outlook bleak for Islamist parties,” retrieved August 20, 2009 from
  16. John T. Sidel. “Indonesia: Islamist forces reach limits of expansion,” retrieved September 26, 2009 from 
  17. John T. Sidel, “The Changing Politics of Religious Knowledge in Asia: The Case of Indonesia” in Saw Swee-Hock and Danny Quah (eds), The Politics of Knowledge (Singapore: Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, 2009), pp. 156-157.
  18. Robin Bush, “‘One step forward…’” Inside Indonesia, retrieved September 26, 2009 from
  19. Julia Day Howell. 2008. Modulations of Active Piety: Professors and Teleevangelists as promoters of Indonesian ‘Sufisme’. In Greg Feally and Sally White, (eds.) Expressing Islam: Religious Life and Politics in Indonesia, Singapore, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, pp. 40-62.
  20. Sidel. “The Changing Politics of Religious Knowledge in Asia: The Case of Indonesia” pp. 156-192; See also John T. Sidel “The New Trinity: Religion, Knowledge and Power”, The Straits Times, 24 October 2007. 
  21. Religious notables were said to have great political influence in mobilizing the population in times of elections throughout the New Order. The capacity of such figures to establish power bases independent from the New Order state, however, was greatly exaggerated, as is shown in a thesis by Endang Turmudi, 2003, Struggling for the Umma: Changing Leadership Roles of Kiai in Jombang, East Java, Canberra: Australian National University, online,retrieved 27 September 2009 from See especially chapter 7, “Kiai’s Political Influence: Post-‘Back to Khittah”. 
  22. Ahmad Muhajir, “Tuan Guru and Politics in South Kalimantan: Islam in the 2005 Gubernatorial Elections,” unpublished MA Thesis, (Canberra: Australian National University, 2009 ).
  23. Endang Turmudi, “Struggling for the Umma: Changing Leadership Roles of Kiai in Jombang, East Java, retrieved September 27, 2009 from, Chp 9. 
  24. Muhajir, “Tuan Guru and Politics in South Kalimantan: Islam in the 2005 Gubernatorial Elections”, p. 77. 
  25. Dirk Tomsa, “The Defeat of Centralized Paternalism: Factionalism, Assertive Regional Cadres, and the Long Fall of Golkar Chairman, “Akbar Tandjung,” Indonesia, Vol. 81, (2006), pp. 1-22. 
  26. Marcus Mietzner, “Party Financing in Post-Soeharto Indonesia: Between State Subsidies and Political Corruption” Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs, Vol. 29, No. 2, (2006), pp. 238-263.
  27. Michael Buehler and Paige Tan, “Party-Candidate Relationships in Indonesian Local Politics: A Case Study of the 2005 Regional Elections in Gowa, South Sulawesi Province,” Indonesia, Vol. 84, (2007), pp. 41-69.
  28. Michael Buehler, “The rising importance of personal networks in Indonesian local politics: An analysis of district government head elections in South Sulawesi in 2005”, in Maribeth Erb and Priyambudi Sulistiyan (eds.) Deepening Democracy in Indonesia? Direct Elections for Local Leaders (Pilkada) (Singapore: Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, 2009), pp. 101-124. 
  29. Andreas Ufen, “From aliran to dealignement: political parties in post-Suharto Indonesia”, Southeast Asia Research, Vol. 16, No. 1, (2008), pp. 5-37.
  30. Stephen Sherlock, “The 2004 Indonesian Elections: How the system works and what parties stand for,” retrieved July 10, 2009 from
  31. The divisor is calculated by dividing the total number of votes in a district by its number of seats. Therefore, it varies between districts.
  32. Kompas, “Partai Politik Islam dan Pemilihan Umum 2004“, January 16, 2004, p. 8.
  33. Kompas, “Jawa Timur: Tembok Pembatas Mulai Terbelah“, 22 June, 2009, p. 8. 
  34. PKS victories in local elections in West Java and North Sumatra throughout 2008 prompted PKS President Titaful Sembiring to announce a party target of winning 20% of the national vote in April 2008. Party patron Hidayat Nur Wahid considered this a realistic target, while many political analysts considered 15% of the votes possible (Jakarta Post, 18 April 2008, 1).
  35.  In 1999 PKS was running under the name PK, Partai Keadilan
  36. In 1999, PPNUI was running under the name PNU-, Partai Nahdlatul Ummat.
  37. Election results can be obtained through the Indonesian Election Commission’s website which is available at

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