PKS expresses optimism to be in big three

Cilegon, Banten (ANTARA News) - The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) expressed its optimism that it would become one of the big three political parties following the upcoming legislative elections on April 9, 2014.

"We are convinced that with the blessing of God we will be included in the big three election winners. This is regardless of the fact that we have always been belittled by different surveys. We hope that the surveys would be wrong," Ahmad Heryawan, a PKS presidential hopeful, said here on Saturday.

In a rally here during the final round of the legislative elections campaign, Heryawan said that facts had proven that in the 2004 and 2009 elections, PKS was repeatedly underestimated. But PKS was able to prove that the survey results were wrong and the party was included among the big three winners.

"PKS rose and the survey results collapsed," he said.

In a campaign in Lampung last month, PKS President Anis Matta said his party targeted to become one of the big three winners in next elections.

"The result of our internal survey is encouraging, so we are convinced that we can achieve the big three target," Anis Matta said.

Based on national surveys, PKS has returned to a position in which it could receive a large number of votes, and the past two months has seen an increase in its electability across the country, the PKS President said.

According to Anis, PKS, which won 7.88 percent of the votes and secured 57 parliamentary seats in the 2009 legislative election, is determined to increase its number of seats in the House of Representatives (DPR) to 115 in this years elections.

In the meantime, PKS deputy secretary general Fachri Hamzah had earlier said that his party will become an opposition party if Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP)s presidential candidate Joko Widodo is elected president.

Fachri further compared the outlook for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) to that of Jokowi, as the current Jakarta governor is popularly called.

"SBY is far better than Jokowi in terms of intellect and national outlook," he said here on Monday.

Meanwhile, Hendri Satrio, a political communication observer at the Paramadina University, said President Yudhoyono is a great leader who is equal to his predecessors.

"SBY was able to bring Indonesia to the right track, irrespective of his weaknesses and shortcomings," Hendri noted.

He predicted that Jokowi, who took office one and a half years ago, would become a great leader sometime in the future if he proved himself to be a good governor of Jakarta.

"It is too early for Jokowi to run for the president," he added.

Asked to comment on PKS stand, Hendri said the Islam-based party should form a coalition with other parties in the presidential election.

Chief of the PDIPs central executive board Puan Maharani announced Jokowis candidacy for the presidency at the office of the partys central executive board here on March 14.

Puan remarked that PDIPs Chief, Megawati Soekarnoputri, had decided to nominate Jokowi for the presidency in accordance with the partys articles of association and as the result of the partys congress held in Bali in 2010.(*)