As seen on The Jakarta Post
This election will eventually boil down to Bakrie and Prabowo Subianto, a patron of the Gerindra Party. SBY’s Democratic Party has imploded and with no attractive presidential timber.
Megawati’s problem is that there’s no other candidate other than herself, and Wiranto can always decide to lose again if he so chooses.
But at the rate things are going, Bakrie’s Golkar Party has shown both its financial strength and political muscle.
Prabowo remains a viable alternative but with no clear movement so far other than unreliable polls that have been reported in the media.
Currently, Bakrie enjoys the privilege of being the most powerful politician in the entire Republic of Indonesia who’s never been elected. Via his political party, he has managed to stave off SBY’s reforms, including the disgraceful exit of Sri Mulyani from SBY’s Cabinet all the way to the embarrassing retreat of SBY’s fuel-price hike due to Bakrie’s about-face turn.
Unless and until Prabowo mounts a nationwide social development program in lieu of a direct campaign, then Bakrie — no matter how much he is disliked — will continue to enjoy the media mileage which, in the name recall, will be to his benefit.
N. Mark Castro