5 January 1973

Birth of the United Development Party

VIVAnews - 35 years ago today, on 5 January 1973, the United Development Party or Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP) was founded.

The political party was created after the New Order regime required all political parties in Indonesia to merge into two opposition parties. PPP was formed as a coalition of four major Islamic parties in Indonesia: the Nahdhatul Ulama (NU), Muslim Party of Indonesia (Parmusi), the Islamic Association Party of Indonesia (PSII), and the Islamic Education Movement (Perti).

The new party was chaired by Muhammad Syafaat Mintareja who held his position until 1978 when he was replaced by Jaelani Naro. After the merger, the Islamic faction in the parliament managed to gain three more seats in the 1977 elections, from 96 in the 1971 elections to 99.

When the government introduced new elections laws that banned all political parties to use religious symbols and required them to uphold Pancasila as their sole principle, the Islamic powers in the parliament began to wane.

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In the 1982 elections, PPP lost five seats, and five years later, in the 1987 elections, the party lost another 33 seats to the Functional Group Party (Golkar) and the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI).

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