President’s Party Shoots Up in Polls

JAKARTA ~ A new poll has found rising support for the political party of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in the lead-up to elections this year.

Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, currently a minority player in his governing coalition, has strengthened its lead as the most popular party among voters, according to a poll by the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI).

The Democratic Party won 23 percent support, surging ahead of the opposition Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) of former president Megawati Sukarnoputri, which won the support of 17.1 percent of voters, it said.

The largest party in Yudhoyono’s multi-party parliamentary coalition, Golkar, won 13.3 percent support.

“The Democratic party continues to widen its lead while Golkar continues to fall behind, and the PDI-P is meanwhile stagnant,” LSI director Saiful Mujani said.

An October LSI poll also found the Democratic Party in the lead, with 16.8 percent support.

“The Democratic party’s rise has been driven by the success of Yudhoyono and his administration in the eyes of the people, as the party is known as the government’s party,” Mujani added.

Yudhoyono, who is seeking reelection in the middle of this year, has seen his popularity bounce back after reversing his administration’s unpopular fuel price hikes late last year.

The president, who ran on a platform of reform and anti-corruption, needs to secure a strong showing for his party and assemble a strong coalition to take on key rivals – including Megawati – in the presidential poll.

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