United Development Party

Published 24th March, 2014

The United Development Party or PPP was the result of a merger of four Islamic Parties, Nahdatul Ulama (NU), Muslim Party of Indonesia (Parmusi), The Islamic Association Party of Indonesia (PSII) and the Islamic Educational Movement (Perti) as part of President Sukarno’s so called ‘Guided Democracy’ and President Suharto’s continuation of the process of simplifying the political system. The party was founded in 1973 and was one of three parties allowed to contest elections under President Suharto but with little chance of ever winning.

The party describes itself as a 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.

Even during Suharto’s regime the party was able to establish itself as an opposition party against the so called ‘New Order’. After Suharto’s resignation in 1998 the PPP managed to recover much of its support and in the 1999 general election it won 58 of the 462 seats in the People’s Representative Council.

Later in the year the party nominated Abdurrahman Wahid in his successful Presidential bid, but were also one of the first to seek his resignation two years later. In 2002 the party suffered from internal battles and a faction split off to form the Reform Star Party (PBR).

Despite this in the 2004 general election the party won 58 seats again and in the presidential election they supported the unsuccessful attempt by Megawati Sukarnoputri to be re-elected as President. Despite their support of Megawati, after the election they switched to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s coalition and were rewarded with Cabinet posts.

In 2009 the party declined to 5.32% support and 38 seats in the 560 seat People’s Representative Council.

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