United Development Party

United Development Party
United Development Party
Partai Persatuan Pembangunan
Chairman Suryadharma Ali
Secretary-General Irgan Chairul Mahfiz
Founded 1973
Headquarters Jakarta
Ideology Islam
DPR Seats
38 / 560
Politics of Indonesia
Political parties

The United Development Party (Indonesian: Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP), sometimes translated as Development Unity Party is a political party in Indonesia. It is an islamic party and currently led by Suryadharma Ali.




Ten political parties participated in the 1971 Legislative Elections, a number that President Suharto considered to be too much. Suharto wished that political parties be reduced to just two or three and that the parties should be grouped based on their programs.

The basis for the merger that would result in the birth of PPP was a coalition of the four Islamic Parties in the People's Representative Council (DPR) called the United Development Faction. This faction consisted of Nahdatul Ulama (NU), Muslim Party of Indonesia (Parmusi), The Islamic Association Party of Indonesia (PSII) and the Islamic Educational Movement (Perti).

With encouragement by the Government, officials from all 4 parties had meetings with each other and after finding some common ground, merged all of the 4 Islamic parties in Indonesia into the United Development Party on 5 January 1973. Despite this formal merging of the parties however, internal PPP politics under the Suharto government were dominated by the differing priorities of the original groups that formed the party.

Opposition to the New Order

In the mid-1970s, popular support for Suharto's regime was rapidly waning. When Suharto had seized power with a bloody military coup in 1965 and ousted President Sukarno, the Islamic groups had supported Suharto and aided in persecuting his political opponents. But as the regime had become corrupt and even more authoritarian, this alliance began to crumble. As the 1977 Legislative Elections approached, many began to seek for other options to vote for aside from the government-backed Golkar.

Worried that PPP might win the Legislative Elections, Suharto played on the fears of the people by having ABRI arrest a group of people who claimed to be associated with the Jihad Commando (Komando Jihad). With this some People became worried that to vote for PPP and its Islamic leaning would mean to support the Jihad Commando and in a government growing increasingly authoritarian, many simply refused to be associated with the wrong side. Golkar would go on to win the Legislative Elections with 62% with PPP coming second with 27% of the votes.

PPP however, would not sit back and accept defeat. At the 1978 MPR General Session, PPP member Chalid Mawardi launched a scathing criticism of Suharto's regime. Mawardi accused the Government of being anti-Muslim, complained of the government's violent crackdown of dissent, and alleged that the 1977 Legislative Election was won because of electoral fraud.[1] PPP members also conducted a mass walkout when Suharto referred to religions as "streams of beliefs".

PPP seemed to have cemented itself a status as the strongest Opposition Party. It would not last long however. In 1984, NU, under its Chairman, Abdurrahman Wahid withdrew from PPP and severely weakening it. The PPP vote share fell down from almost 28% in the 1982 Legislative Elections to 16% in the 1987 Legislative Elections. PPP was also forced by the government to replace its ideology of Islam with the national ideology of Pancasila and to stop using Islamic symbols. As a result, the party replaced its logo showing the Kabah shrine in Mecca with a star.[2]

1988 MPR General Session

At the 1988 MPR General Session, Jaelani Naro, the PPP Chairman, was nominated as Vice President. Suharto, who had been elected to the Presidency for a 5th term at the aforementioned General Session intervened. He cited a decision that the MPR made in 1973 that one of the criteria for a Vice President was that he should be able to work with the President. Suharto also conducted discussions with Naro and convinced him to withdraw the nomination.

What Naro did was unprecedented as both Suharto and his Vice Presidents had always been elected unopposed. The problem this time was Suharto's choice for Vice President, Sudharmono. Suharto's choice had caused a rift between him and his most loyal ally ABRI. Many within ABRI did not like Sudharmono because he spent more time behind a desk (Sudharmono was a Military Attorney) then as a Field Officer. Seeing a gap to exploit, Naro nominated himself possibly with the private support of ABRI who in public, had shown support to Sudharmono.

PPP in the Reform era

United Development Party rally in Jakarta, 24 April 1997

PPP continued as the second biggest Party out of the three allowed in the New Order. In May 1998, after Suharto's fall, PPP returned to its Islamic ideology and prepared itself for the 1999 Legislative Elections where it won 11% of the votes.

In the 1999 MPR General Session, PPP was part of the Central Axis, a political coalition of Muslim parties which was formed by MPR Chairman, Amien Rais to counter the dominance of Megawati Sukarnoputri's Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P). The PDI-P had won the Legislative Election and Megawati was expected to win the Presidency. However, the MPR was still at this stage responsible for electing the President and Vice President and the Muslim Parties in the Central Axis did not want a female President. Instead, they nominated and successfully secured the election of Abdurrahman Wahid as President. In the Vice Presidential election, PPP Chairman Hamzah Haz ran against Megawati and was defeated.

PPP was the first of Wahid's political allies to become disillusioned with him. PPP's main problem with Wahid was his visit to Israel and the suggestion that he was willing to re-establish diplomatic relations with the nation. Hamzah who served in Wahid's Cabinet as Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare, immediately resigned from his position just a month after Wahid had appointed him to it. Many other Wahid allies would follow and in July 2001, PPP would join in removing Wahid from the Presidency and naming Megawati as the President. Hamzah was then elected as Vice President after defeating Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Akbar Tanjung in the Vice Presidential elections.

2004 Legislative Elections

PPP received 8.1% of the vote in the 2004 legislative elections, a decrease from its 10.7% share of the vote in 1999, but enough to retain its place as the third-best represented party in the legislature, behind PDI-P and Golkar.

2004 Presidential Elections

PPP originally did not have a Presidential Candidate in mind for the 2004 presidential elections. They had originally expected that Hamzah would be picked as Megawati's running mate and continue the Megawati/Hamzah President/Vice President partnership. Megawati however, chose NU Chairman Hasyim Muzadi as her running mate.

PPP then continued to wait, still expecting that Hamzah Haz would be picked as a Vice Presidential Candidate. Finally, with a day before the enlistments of President/Vice President candidates are closed, Hamzah moved forward and became PPP's Presidential Candidate.[3] His running mate was Agum Gumelar, who served as Minister of Transportation in Megawati's Cabinet.

Hamzah's decision to run for President was disastrous as he received 3.1% of the votes in the Presidential Election and came 5th.

In August 2004, PPP announced that together with PDI-P, Golkar, Reform Star Party (PBR) and Prosperous Peace Party (PDS) they are forming a National Coalition to back Megawati to win the Presidential run-off against Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Yudhoyono however would emerge victorious and PPP would defect from the National Coalition to Yudhoyono's camp. They were rewarded by being given Cabinet places.

2007 Party Congress

PPP held its 6th National Congress in Jakarta from 30 January to 3 February 2007.[4] On the last day of the Congress, Suryadharma Ali emerged as the new PPP Chairman to replace Hamzah.[5] Suryadharma currently serves as Minister of Cooperatives and State and Medium Enterprises in President Yudhoyono's Cabinet. He has announced that he will continue as Minister while concurrently holding the position of PPP Chairman.

2009 Legislative Election

The party came sixth in the 2009 legislative election with 5.3 percent of the votes. It will have 37 seats in the People's Representative Council.[6][7]

Regional strength

In the legislative election held on 9 April 2009, support for the PPP was higher than the party's national average in the following provinces:


  • Muhammad Syafaat Mintareja (1973–1978)
  • Jaelani Naro (1978–1989)
  • Ismail Hasan Metareum (1989–1998)
  • Hamzah Haz (1998–2007)
  • Suryadharma Ali (2007-)

External links


  1. ^ Elson, Robert (2001). Suharto: A Political Biography. UK: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge. pp. 225. ISBN 0-521-77326-1. 
  2. ^ Schwarz,, Adam (1994). A Nation in Waiting: Indonesia in the 1990s. Allen & Unwin. pp. 172. ISBN 0-521-77326-1. 
  3. ^ "Semangat Agum, Keraguan Hamzah (Agum's Enthusiasm, Hamzah's Doubts)". Tempointeraktif. http://www.tempo.co.id/majalah/free/pilpres/hmz-1.html. Retrieved 2006-10-27. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ ANTARA: The Indonesian News Agency
  6. ^ Indonesian General Election Commission website Official Election Results
  7. ^ Indonesian General Election Commission website KPU Ubah Perolehan Kursi Parpol di DPR (KPU Changes Allocations of Parties' seats in the DPR (15 May 2009)) Access date 2009-05-24 (indonesian)

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