Indonesia Solidarity Party (PSI) chairwoman Grace Natalie speaking during a news conference at the party's offices in Jakarta on Wednesday. (B1 Photo)

'Millennial Party' Loses Out on House Seat, Sets Up Bastion in Jakarta

BY :NUR YASMIN & CHRISTIAN LEE

APRIL 18, 2019

Jakarta. The Indonesia Solidarity Party, or PSI, has surprised many by attracting the fourth-most votes – based on quick-count results – in Jakarta in this week's legislative election, party officials said on Thursday.

Despite receiving only 2 percent in the nationwide quick count, which rules out any seats in the House of Representatives, the newcomer party is predicted to have attracted about 8 percent of the vote in the Indonesian capital. According to the 2017 General Election Law, a party must have at least 4 percent of the vote to be represented in the national legislature.

"Based on the quick-count results, the PSI will be the fourth-largest party in Jakarta. Of course, we are still waiting for the official recapitulation by the General Elections Commission [KPU]," Michael Victor Sianipar, a PSI representative for Jakarta, said in a press release the Jakarta Globe received.

The CSIS-Cyrus Network estimates that the PSI attracted 7.98 percent of the vote in Jakarta. The ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) gained most of the vote, at 23.05 percent, followed by the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) at 16.4 percent and the opposition Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) at 14.87 percent.

Another pollster, Indobarometer, has put the PSI's share of the vote at 8.11 percent, after the PDI-P (25.07 percent), PKS (17.49 percent) and Gerindra (15.26 percent).

"This is an extraordinary achievement. We thank the people of Jakarta, who have given us their trust and the opportunity, putting us to the test and allowing us to show our character. We believe your trust will not be in vain. We will prove it with our sincere intentions, hard work and integrity in the Jakarta Regional Legislature over the next five years," Michael said.

He added that the PSI has worked hard to select the best legislative candidates in a process involving public participation, and that it had even embarked on a fundraising drive to help the best people enter politics and campaign in the election. He said the PSI would present constructive opposition to the current governor, Anies Baswedan.

"There is still a lot of homework to do in Jakarta. Human development and infrastructure must be more just and progressive. As an opposition party, the PSI will ensure Governor Anies's programs are even better. We will not hesitate to criticize, but we also want to offer solutions and we are willing to sit down together. That is the hope of the citizens of Jakarta, that there will be no more political division. Let's put forward the development of Jakarta together," Michael said.

Not the End

PSI chairwoman Grace Natalie meanwhile released a statement on Wednesday conceding defeat, but said the party remains optimistic. 

"Although we did not enter the national legislature based on the quick-count results, it should be noted that about 2 percent, or around 3 million people, have voted for the PSI. This is the people's voice that must be taken into account and we will continue fighting," Grace said at the party headquarters in Jakarta. 

Polls conducted last year showed the five-year-old party's support at less than 1 percent, far from the required 4 percent.

"No votes are wasted. Every vote for the PSI will be recorded and counted as a statement of courage, the voice of the people, who want the national legislature and political parties to improve," Grace said.

She encouraged the 3 million people who voted for the party to register as members. Most of the self-proclaimed millennial party's members are between the ages of 20 and 30. 

"To the 3 million PSI voters, I urge you to immediately register as members at www.psi.id, or at the nearest PSI office. We will immediately consolidate ourselves," Grace said.

Tsamara Amany, PSI legislative candidate for South Jakarta, Central Jakarta and abroad, also posted a video on her Instagram account on Thursday morning, thanking her supporters and ensuring them of her tenacity.

"We will continue the fight. Defeat in this election doesn't mean an end to our struggle. We will return stronger; we will continue to fight outside the national legislature. We will continue to bring the values of tolerance and anti-corruption," she said in the video.

 

The PSI has vowed to continue supporting Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration over the next five years, should he be confirmed as president.

"We are ready to be a partner for Mr. Jokowi to run people-oriented programs that will improve people's welfare… We will not ask for any allocation from Jokowi. We support Jokowi sincerely," Grace said.

Quick-count results show the incumbent and his running mate, Ma'ruf Amin, winning the presidential election, although the KPU will only announce the official result on May 22.

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