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Indonesian parties get creative ahead of polls

Publication Date : 18-01-2013


One week after the draw that assigned numbers to each of the 10 political parties that will run in Indonesia's 2014 election, executives of the parties are now working hard to find ways to sell the numbers to voters.

Political parties are now setting up creative teams to turn their numbers into lucky charms.

NasDem’s creative team would not likely have to do much as executives of the new party considered themselves lucky to get number 1.

“We feel blessed to have the number 1. We were the first party to submit verification documents to the KPU (elections commission) and we are also the only party that has never contested elections,” party chairman Patrice Rio Capella said.

Rio said that turning the number into a catchy tag line would be easy.

“It can be something like ‘NasDem: Always Number One’. There are so many other options available,” he said.

The National Mandate Party (PAN) also thinks that eight is a lucky number. Party executive Bima Arya Sugiarto said the number eight in Indonesian rhymes with the party’s name. “Remember PAN, vote number delaPAN,” he said.

The ruling Democratic Party also sense opportunity with the number seven.

Many of the party’s politicians have begun to float the idea of rhyming the number with the Indonesian word tujuan (objective) or setuju (agreement). “Everybody se7 that our 7an is to be a 7uara,” writes one of the party politicians in his Twitter feeds.

Chairperson of the Democratic Party faction at the House of Representatives Nurhayati Ali Assegaf has gone as far as to rework the traditional lullaby Bintang Kecil (Little Star) to come up with a new slogan. Instead of bintang kecil di langit yang biru (little star in the blue sky), the lyrics would go bintang tujuh di langit yang biru (seven stars in the blue sky).

Other parties are busy thinking of hand gestures to use throughout the campaign.

“We will use the victory sign,” Muhaimin Iskandar, the chairman of the National Awakening Party (PKB), referring to the “V” sign that could also mean the party number, 2.

The Golkar Party said that it would soon launch a five-finger campaign to promote the number 5 that it got during the KPU draw. Golkar Deputy Secretary General Leo Nababan said the party would also link the number five with the country’s five fundamental principles of Pancasila.

The People’s Conscience (Hanura) Party, which got number 10, will likely use the Golkar-style sign for both hands.

Lawmaker Rachel Maryam of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party proposed a “double-metal” sign — thumb-index-pinkie on both hands — to promote the party number.

Other political parties are still figuring out on what to do with their numbers.

Eva Sundari, a lawmaker from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said that the PDI-P executives have not yet discussed the issue.

“Four can refer to four directions, meaning that the PDI-P will win votes from all across Indonesia. Most importantly Four represents the four pillars declared by Indonesia’s first President Soekarno,” she said, referring to the father of the party chairwoman, Megawati Soekarnoputri.

PDI-P deputy secretary general Ahmad Basarah had been thinking the four legs of a chair could be the seat that the PDI-P could win.

“It can be an analogy: The PDI-P will win the president-vice president positions, not to mention legislative seats,” he said.


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