Jakarta Post - September 3, 2010
Erwida Maulia, Jakarta -- The President's popularity has declined in the
first year of his second tenure, but voters are apparently reluctant to
switch their support from the President's ruling party to other political
parties, a survey finds.
The Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) confirmed in its latest survey in
August that there was a decline in the level of public satisfaction with
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's performance since its five-year peak
in July last year, when Yudho-yono ran for re-election.
"In July 2009, the level of public satisfaction with the President's
performance reached a record 85 percent.
"Since then, however, it fell to 75 percent in November 2009, 70 percent in
January 2010, 65 percent in March 2010, and only slightly increased by 1
percent in August 2010," LSI executive director Kuskridho Ambardi said at a
press conference Thursday to announce the result of the latest survey.
He highlighted the relatively wide gap between the level of public
satisfaction with the President's performance and that of Vice President
Boediono, which "fluctuates" and reached 53 percent in August.
"Support for Boediono remains rather low perhaps because he rarely makes
public appearances," Kuskridho said.
The result of the survey, which involved 1,829 respondents from 32
provinces, showed that less people believed that there had been
improvements in the country's economic, security and law enforcement
conditions under Yudhoyono's presidency in the past few months.
A majority, however, said they considered that there had been an
improvement in the country's political situation since March 2010.
The survey showed that respondents who lived in cities and had a high level
of education tended to be more critical of the government.
Despite the President's declining popularity, however, the respondents did
not seem inclined to leave Yudhoyono's Democratic Party should they have to
vote in August.
The Democratic Party tops the list of most popular parties with 27 percent
of respondents, followed by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle
(PDI-P) with 15 percent and the Golkar Party with 12 percent. LSI's
Burhanuddin Muhtadi attributed this to a lack of iconic political leaders.
"The support for the Democratic Party remains strong probably because
people feel there's no other choice. Yudhoyono is still considered the
lesser evil, or the best of the bad choices," he pointed out.
The survey also found that the Yudhoyono-led government faced a lack of
public satisfaction with its performance in its handling of the exploding
LPG canister issue and its recent decision to increase electricity rates.
Hayono Isman, a senior politician from the Democratic Party, responded to
the survey by saying that he was surprised that the public's support for
his party remained relatively stable despite the media's numerous negative
reports on the government's and the President's performances.
Pramono Anung of the PDI-P welcomed the finding that his party tended to
enjoy more votes when voters were disappointed with the government's
"If the survey had been conducted following the President's speech on
Malaysia, I'm sure the public satisfaction level would be even lower," he