Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 08/2014

Explaining the Trajectory of Golkar's Splinters in Post-Suharto Indonesia

Yuddy Chrisnandi, Adhi Priamarizki

July 2014

S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies


During the New Order regime, Golkar (Golongan Karya) played a crucial role in garnering political support whilst upholding Suharto’s iron-clad reign. The abrupt fall of the Suharto regime however, ushered in a completely new political vista for the once hegemonic Golkar. Several “splinter-parties” have decided to break-away within the Golkar Party itself, re-emerging as new political vehicles due to various reasons. This paper revisits and analyses the emergence of three of Golkar’s splinters: the Hanura, Gerindra, and Nasdem parties. It examines how their background originating as haranguing factions and splinters within Golkar influences their political behaviour, in turn providing an analysis on the background of the establishment of these personality-led parties, the differences amongst the parties as well as their prospects within the sphere of Indonesian politics. This paper argues that the electoral performance of the three parties is sustained and highly dependent upon both the strong personalities and financial backing of their respective leaders.