In the name of love

Somehow you can’t help feeling that there is an air of desperation about how the parties are seeking votes in this upcoming elections. Wonder if they’ve ever considered articulating a fresh, genuine vision for Indonesia or coming up with plans on how they would lead Indonesia through the current economic crisis instead?

Be Mine: PKS Party Launches ‘Operation Valentine’

Bowing to the fact that love will be in the air next weekend, members of the country’s leading Islamic-based political party, the Prosperous Justice Party, or PKS, will distribute chocolates and flowers on Valentine’s Day in hopes of wooing young voters, whom the party is having trouble attracting as supporters and members.

The pre-election strategy comes despite a standing order by the Indonesian Council of Ulema, or MUI, against Muslims celebrating the day, which has been declared haram , or forbidden, in many majority Muslim nations.

Mujtahid Rahman Yadi, who chairs the party’s West Java Province branch based in Depok, said on Sunday that PKS cadres will go door to door looking for teenagers on the international day of love, which falls on Saturday, to hand out goodies while “introducing” the party to them.

“We have plans to distribute gifts associated with Valentine’s Day, such as chocolates attached to stickers bearing pictures of [our] legislative candidates and flowers tied with a ribbon bearing the No. 8 logo,” Mujtahid said, referring to the party’s ballot number for the April 9 polls.

The PKS is popular among urban intellectuals, many of whom have conservative views of Islam, but it is now attempting to cast itself as an inclusive group. The party won about 7 percent of the vote in the 2004 legislative election, during which it removed its stance that Indonesia become an Islamic state from its platform.

“Our cadres face difficulties in approaching young voters,” Mujtahid said. “To date, we haven’t found a formula to reach them.”

via Jakarta Globe.

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