The Decline of the Hegemonic Party System in Indonesia: Golkar after the Fall of Soeharto
- Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 29, Number 2, August 2007
- pp. 333-358
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The fall of Soeharto in 1998 marked the end of the hegemonic party system in Indonesia. While Golkar ceased to be a hegemonic party, it not only survived but emerged as the second largest party in the 1999 elections and the largest party in the 2004 elections. Post-Soeharto Golkar differs from the Golkar of the New Order period not only in its electoral strength but also in its structure, leadership, and relations with Islamic groups and the government. Golkar has become more democratic as voting rights have been given to local representatives. While the military's influence has declined if not disappeared, the strength of bureaucrats and big businesses is increasing. While Golkar has embraced Islamic elements, it has also retained its Pancasila ideology. As the largest party in parliament, it has tremendous influence, yet supports a non-Golkar president. The most conspicuous development in post-Soeharto Golkar is the emergence of factionalism that may weaken it.