National Awakening Party

Published 24th March, 2014

The National Awakening Party or PKB was founded in July 1998 by five Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) elders (the NU is a traditionalist Sunni Islam group). The party describes itself as a moderate Islamic party and its ideology is based on Pancasila which has five key strands, belief in the divinity of God, a just and civilized humanity, the unity of Indonesia, democracy and social justice.

The party stood in the first properly democratic election in 1999 and won 51 of the 462 seats in the People’s Representative Council. One of the five founding fathers, Abdurrahman Wahid, was then elected as President, but although he continued the democratisation process on 29th January 2001 parliament was stormed by students claiming that the president was involved in corruption scandals; soon after he resigned; Wahid resigned soon after.

From there the party held its own in the 2004 elections, taking 52 seats, but after 2004 factionalism and leadership disputes have troubled the party. In 2009 the party managed to win just 28 of the 560 seats in the People’s Representative Council.

In 2008 the party split into two factions, one supporting Muhaimin Iskandar and the other supporting Ali Masykur Musa and Yenny Wahid with the former winning the immediate battle in retaining the party core.

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