Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle

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Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle
Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan
AbbreviationPDI-P/PDIP, PDI Perjuangan
General ChairwomanMegawati Sukarnoputri
Secretary-GeneralHasto Kristiyanto
Founded10 January 1973; 51 years ago (1973-01-10) (as PDI)
15 February 1999; 25 years ago (1999-02-15) (as PDI-P)
Split fromPDI
Youth wingBMI (Indonesian Young Bulls)
TMP (Red-White Cadets)
Muslim wingBamusi (Indonesian Muslims Abode)
Membership (2022)478,008[1]
Political positionCentre[12] to centre-left[13][4]
National affiliationOnward Indonesia Coalition
International affiliationProgressive Alliance[14]
Network of Social Democracy in Asia[15]
Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats
SloganKerja Kita, Kerja Indonesia
(Our Work, Indonesia's Work)
  • Hymne PDI-P
    (PDI-P Hymn)
  • Mars PDI-P
    (PDI-P March)
Ballot number3
DPR seats
128 / 575
DPRD I seats
418 / 2,232
DPRD II seats
2,803 / 17,340

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Indonesian: Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan, PDI-P) is a centre to centre-left secular-nationalist political party in Indonesia. Since 2014, it has been the ruling and largest party in the House of Representatives (DPR), having secured 128 seats in the last election. The party is led by Megawati Sukarnoputri, who served as the President of Indonesia from 2001 to 2004. It is also the party of the current president, Joko Widodo.

In 1996, Megawati was forced out from the leadership of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) by the New Order government under Suharto. After Suharto's resignation and the lifting of restrictions on political parties, she founded the party. PDI-P won the majority of votes in the 1999 legislative election, and Megawati assumed the presidency in July 2001, replacing Abdurrahman Wahid. Following the end of her term, PDI-P became the opposition during the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) administration. PDI-P returned to power following their 2014 legislative election victory, and Joko Widodo (Jokowi) was elected as president. In 2019, PDI-P continued their success in the legislative election, and Jokowi was re-elected for his second term.

It is a member of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats and Progressive Alliance.



Party head office on Jalan Diponegoro, Menteng, Jakarta

At the 1993 National Congress, Megawati Sukarnoputri was elected Chairperson of the Indonesian Democratic Party, one of the three political parties recognised by President Suharto's "New Order" government. This result was not recognised by the government, which continued to push for Budi Harjono, its preferred candidate for the chairpersonship, to be elected. A Special Congress was held where the government expected to have Harjono elected, but Megawati once again emerged as elected leader. Her position was consolidated further when a PDI National Assembly ratified the results of the congress.

In June 1996, another National Congress was held in the city of Medan, to which Megawati was not invited; anti-Megawati members were in attendance. With the government's backing, Suryadi, a former chairperson was re-elected as PDI's Chairperson. Megawati refused to acknowledge the results of this congress and continued to see herself as the rightful leader of the PDI.

On the morning of 27 July 1996, Suryadi threatened to take back PDI's headquarters in Jakarta.[16] Suryadi's supporters (reportedly with the Government's backing) attacked the PDI Headquarters and faced resistance from Megawati supporters who had been stationed there since the National Congress in Medan. In the ensuing clash, Megawati's supporters managed to hold on to the headquarters. A riot ensued – at that stage considered the worst that Jakarta had seen during the "New Order" – which was followed by a government crackdown. The government later blamed the riots on the Democratic People's Party (PRD). Despite being overthrown as chairperson by Suryadi and the government, the event lifted Megawati's profile immensely, providing both sympathy and national popularity.

The PDI was now divided into two factions, Megawati's and Suryadi's. The former had wanted to participate in the 1997 legislative elections, but the government only recognized the latter. In the elections, Megawati and her supporters threw their support behind the United Development Party and the PDI won only 3% of the vote. Following Suharto's resignation and the lifting of the "New Order" limitations on national political parties, Megawati declared the formation of the PDI-P, adding the suffix perjuangan ("struggle") to differentiate her faction of the party from the government-backed faction. She was elected chairperson of PDI-P and was nominated for the presidency in 1999.

1999–2004: Election victory, the Wahid–Megawati administrations, and splits[edit]

PDI-P was by far the most popular political party coming into the 1999 legislative elections. With 33% of the votes, PDI-P emerged with the largest share. As the 1999 People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) General Session loomed closer, it was expected that PDI-P would once again play the dominant role. Despite winning the legislative elections, PDI-P did not have absolute majority. Despite this, however, PDI-P never formed a coalition with any of the other political parties in the lead-up to the 1999 MPR General Session. The closest PDI-P had to a coalition was a loose alliance with Abdurrahman Wahid's National Awakening Party (PKB). The presidency looked set to be contested by Megawati and the then incumbent B. J. Habibie of Golkar who was looking for a second term. However, MPR Chairman Amien Rais had other ideas as he formed a coalition called the Central Axis which consisted of Muslim parties. Amien also announced that he would like to nominate Wahid as president. PKB, their alliance with PDI-P never cemented, now moved over to the Central Axis. Golkar then joined this coalition after Habibie's accountability speech was rejected and he withdrew from the race. It came down to Megawati and Wahid. Wahid, with a powerful coalition backing him, was elected as Indonesia's 4th president with 373 votes to Megawati's 313. The PDI-P supporters were outraged. As the winners of the legislative elections, they also expected to win the presidential elections. PDI-P masses began rioting in cities such as Jakarta, Solo and Medan. The normally peaceful Bali was also involved in pro-Megawati protests. Wahid then realized that there was a need to recognize PDI-P's status as the winners of the Legislative Elections. With that, he encouraged Megawati to run for the vice presidency. Megawati rejected this offer when she saw that she had to face opponents such as United Development Party's (PPP) Hamzah Haz and Golkar's Akbar Tanjung and Wiranto. After some politicking by Wahid, Akbar and Wiranto withdrew from the race. Wahid also ordered PKB to throw their weight behind Megawati. She was now confident and competed in the vice presidential elections, and was elected with 396 votes to Hamzah's 284.

The First PDI-P Congress was held in Semarang, Central Java in April 2000, during which Megawati was re-elected as the chairperson of PDI-P for a second term. The congress was noted as one where she consolidated her position within PDI-P by taking harsh measures to remove potential rivals.[17] During the election for the chairperson, two other candidates emerged, Eros Djarot and Dimyati Hartono. Both ran because they did not want Megawati to hold the PDI-P chairpersonship while concurrently being Vice President. For Eros, when finally received his nomination from the South Jakarta branch, membership problems arose and made his nomination void. He was then not allowed to go and participate in the congress. Disillusioned with what he perceived to be a cult of personality developing around Megawati, Eros left PDI-P and in July 2002, formed the Freedom Bull National Party. For Dimyati, although his candidacy was not opposed as harshly as Eros', he was removed from his position as Head of PDI-P's Central Branch. He kept his position as a People's Representative Council (DPR) member but retired in February 2002. In April 2002, Dimyati formed the Our Homeland of Indonesia Party (PITA).

Although it had not supported Wahid for presidency, PDI-P members received ministerial positions in his cabinet because of Megawati's position as vice president. As time went on, much like the Central Axis that had supported Wahid, PDI-P would grow disillusioned with him. In April 2000, Laksamana Sukardi, a PDI-P member who held position as Minister of Investments and State Owned Enterprises was sacked from his position. When PDI-P enquired as to why this was done, Wahid claimed it was because of corruption but never backed up his claim. The relationship improved somewhat when later in the year, when Wahid authorized Megawati to manage the day-to-day running of the government. However, she and PDI-P had slowly but surely started to distance themselves from Wahid and join forces with the Central Axis. Finally, in July 2001 at a Special Session of the MPR, Wahid was removed as president. Megawati was then elected as president to replace him with Hamzah as her vice president, becoming Indonesia's first female president. They party, however, faced further splits after Megawati became president with more disillusioned members leaving the party. Two of them were Megawati's own sisters. In May 2002, Sukmawati Sukarnoputri formed the Indonesian National Party Marhaenism (PNI-Marhaenisme). This was followed in November 2002, with Rachmawati Sukarnoputri declaring the formation of the Pioneers' Party (PP).

2004–2014: Opposition to the Yudhoyono administration[edit]

By 2004, the reformist sentiments that had led PDI-P to victory in the 1999 elections had died down. Many were disappointed with what the reform process had achieved thus far and were also disappointed with Megawati's presidency. This was reflected in the 2004 legislative election, PDI-P obtained 18.5% of the total vote, down from the 33.7% it obtained in 1999.[18] PDI-P nominated Megawati as its presidential candidate for the 2004 presidential election. Several running mates were considered, including Hamzah Haz (to renew the partnership), Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), and Jusuf Kalla. Megawati eventually selected Nahdatul Ulama chairman Hasyim Muzadi as her running mate. It was expected that she would appeal to nationalist sentiments while Hasyim would appeal to Islamist voters. In the first round of elections, the pairing came second to SBY/Kalla. To improve their chances in the run-off, the PDI-P formed a coalition with the PPP, Golkar, the Reform Star Party (PBR) and the Prosperous Peace Party (PDS) in August 2004. However, they were defeated in the run-off against SBY/Kalla. The National Coalition then turned their eyes on being the opposition in the DPR for the SBY/Kalla government. With Kalla's election as chairman of Golkar, Golkar defected to the government's side, leaving the PDI-P as the only major opposition party in the DPR.

On 28 March 2005, the second PDI-P Congress was held in Sanur, Bali where Megawati was re-elected to the chairpersonship for a third term. Her brother, Guruh Sukarnoputra, was chosen as head of the party's Education and Culture department. This congress was noted for the formation of a faction called the Renewal of PDI-P Movement. It called for a renewal of the party leadership if it was to win the 2009 legislative elections. Although they attended the Congress, the members left once Megawati was re-elected. In December 2005, these same members would form the Democratic Renewal Party (PDP).

The party came third in the 2009 legislative election with 14% of the votes. It had 95 seats in the DPR.[19] Megawati was chosen as the presidential candidate, this time with a coalition between the Great Indonesia Movement Party and PDI-P themselves, with Prabowo Subianto as her running mate. They lost to SBY, with Boediono as vice-president, who won 26.6% of the vote.

2014–2023: Return to power, the Jokowi administration, and factional rivalry[edit]

In March 2014, the party nominated Jakarta governor Joko Widodo as its presidential candidate, with Jusuf Kalla as his running mate. The pairing won with 53.15% of the vote,[20] and PDI-P returned as the largest party in the DPR, winning nearly 19% of the vote.[21]

In April 2019, incumbent president Joko Widodo was the party's presidential candidate running for a second term, with Ma'ruf Amin as his running mate. Widodo won a second term with 55.50% of the vote.[22] PDI-P remained the largest party in the DPR, winning 19.33% of the vote.[23]

In preparation for the 2024 Indonesian general election, the party split over the choice of a presidential candidate. Younger party members opposed Puan Maharani, the older generation's preference, in favor of Ganjar Pranowo. Despite his popularity, Pranowo declared he wouldn't run.[24][25] On October 9, 2021, Bambang Wuryanto urged unity under the Banteng (Javanese for "bull") command for Maharani supporters, labeling dissenters as Celeng (Javanese for "wild boar").[26] In response, young members launched the Barisan Celeng Berjuang ("Fighting Boars Front") campaign on October 12, 2021, criticizing Wuryanto and the Central Board.[27][28][29] They adopted a flag with an inverted color scheme as a symbol of defiance.[30][31] On October 15, 2021, the PDI-P Central Board sanctioned members from both sides for attempting to bypass the leadership's decision-making process, emphasizing that only Megawati could decide the official presidential nominee and urging an end to the rivalry.[32]

2023–present: Ganjar's nomination, worsening ties between PDI-P and Jokowi[edit]

On April 21, 2023, Ganjar was officially nominated by PDI-P as its presidential candidate.[33] On October 22, Gibran Rakabuming Raka–an active member of the party and the son of Jokowi–was officially nominated by the Advanced Indonesia Coalition as the vice-presidential candidate for Prabowo Subianto, after a controversial decision by the Constitutional Court allowed him to run. In November, Gibran was expelled from the party. In the following months, some members and politicians from PDI-P began to attack Jokowi. During the party's anniversary celebration held on January 10, 2024, Megawati indirectly criticized "power hungry" leaders. Observers believe that her statement is directed towards Jokowi, who was not invited to the event. She asserted that PDI-P had triumphed in the two preceding elections due to the people's backing, rather than owing to Jokowi's influence.[34]

Political identities[edit]


The 2008 Law on Political Parties states that political parties are allowed to include specific characteristics that reflect their political aspirations, as long as they do not contradict Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution.[35] As per Article 5, Section 1 of its constitution and bylaws (AD/ART), PDI-P adheres to Pancasila. Megawati specifically clarified that the Pancasila referred to is the version of June 1, 1945.[36] In September 2023, the party's Secretary-General, Hasto Kristiyanto, claimed that PDI-P is a progressive "leftist" party, not a communist nor socialist party.[7] Outsider views on the party's political orientation vary. Academics and domestic observers classified PDI-P as a nationalist[37] and secular party,[38][39] while their international counterparts described it as a secular-nationalist,[2][3][40][41] liberal-secularist,[42] or populist party.[5][6] In the party's stronghold of Central Java, PDI-P has been described as a catch-all party.[43] Its political leaning has been described as centrist,[12][44][45][46] centre-left,[13][4][47] or left-wing.[48]

Political positions[edit]

PDI-P supports the separation of religion and the state. They reject regional regulations (perda) based on religion (such as Sharia-based perda), except for the Aceh region.[49] PDI-P endorses gender equality and women's rights.[50] The party also proclaims itself as the party of the "ordinary people".[51]

According to its website, the party aims to realize the aims contained in the preamble to the 1945 Constitution in the form of a just and prosperous society and to bring about an Indonesia that is socially just as well as politically sovereign and economically self-sufficient, and that is Indonesian in character and culture.[52] At the party's fourth congress in 2015, the PDIP issued a seven-point statement entitled "Realizing Great Indonesia, an Indonesia that is Truly Independent", in which it committed itself to oversee the program of the central government and ensuring it keeps its campaign promises while reinforcing its position as a political force and underlining its support for the poor and battling structural poverty.[53]

The PDI-P parliamentary group in the DPR have expressed their opinions on a few issues:

Year Bills Votes Party stances/Other views
2019 Revision of Law on the Corruption Eradication Commission
2022 Law on Sexual Violence Crimes
PDI-P urges comprehensive implementation of the bill, emphasizing not only legal enforcement but also addressing obstacles faced by victims. They stress a focus on prevention and protection, integrating measures for evidence, knowledge, law enforcement, infrastructure, safe houses, rehabilitation, and community safety.[54]
2022 Law on State Capital
PDI-P asserts that the defense system in the future national capital should adhere to standards of strength, capabilities, and security to uphold the nation's integrity and maritime security.[55]
2022 Revision of the Indonesian Criminal Code
PDI-P urges judges and law enforcement to exercise caution when applying Article 2 (paragraphs 1 and 2) and Articles 46 to 51. For adultery cases, PDI-P requests written consent from spouses, parents, or children before filing a criminal report under that article.[56]
2023 Omnibus Law on Job Creation
RUU Cipta Kerja
PDI-P was among the parties that supported the bill.[57]

Electoral support[edit]

Vote share of PDI-P by cities and regencies at the 2019 election

The 2008 survey by Lingkaran Survei Indonesia (LSI Denny JA) highlights non-Muslims, secular Muslims, and low-income voters as the primary constituents of the PDI-P. It is notably popular among "not at all religious" Muslim voters, with 33% support in the 2009 legislative elections. In the 2009 presidential polls, 41% of non-religious Muslim voters favored Megawati, surpassing her overall 27% support.[58] Regionally, the party boasts a predominantly strong support base in Central Java, often referred to as the PDI-P's "stronghold" or kandang banteng (lit. bull pen),[59] Pangi Chaniago of Voxpol Research Center described the party's electorates in the region as "ideological voters".[43] Additionally, the party thrives in Bali, West and Central Kalimantan, North Sulawesi, as well as Bangka Belitung—areas marked by substantial religious minorities or syncretistic forms of Islam,[60] while facing challenges in certain areas of Sumatra, particularly in Islam-leaning Aceh and West Sumatra.[61] It has also been popular among Chinese Indonesians voters.[62]


Election results[edit]

Legislative election results[edit]

Election Ballot number Total seats won Total votes Share of votes Outcome of election Party leader
1999 11
153 / 500
35,689,073 33.74%[63] Increase153 seats, Governing coalition Megawati Sukarnoputri
2004 18
109 / 550
21,026,629 18.53%[64] Decrease44 seats, Opposition Megawati Sukarnoputri
2009 28
95 / 560
14,600,091 14.03%[64] Decrease14 seats, Opposition Megawati Sukarnoputri
2014 4
109 / 560
23,681,471 18.95%[21] Increase14 seats, Governing coalition Megawati Sukarnoputri
2019 3
128 / 575
27,053,961 19.33%[65] Increase19 seats, Governing coalition Megawati Sukarnoputri
2024 3 Megawati Sukarnoputri

Presidential election results[edit]

Election Ballot number Candidate Running mate 1st round
(Total votes)
Share of votes Outcome 2nd round
(Total votes)
Share of votes Outcome
2004 2 Megawati Sukarnoputri Hasyim Muzadi 31,569,104 26.61% Runoff 44,990,704 39.38% Lost
2009 1 Megawati Sukarnoputri Prabowo Subianto 32,548,105 26.79% Lost
2014 2 Joko Widodo[66] Jusuf Kalla 70,997,833 53.15% Elected
2019 01 Joko Widodo Ma'ruf Amin 85,607,362 55.50% Elected
2024 03 Ganjar Pranowo Mahfud MD

Note: Bold text indicates party member


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