The Indonesian National Party , PNI or Partai Nasional Indonesia is an Indonesian political party that ceased to exist in 1973, when President Soeharto’s government forced the Indonesian political parties to merge into two parties, the Muslims to form the Partai Persatuan Pembangunan or PPP, the other parties to blend in with Partai Demokrasi Indonesia or PDI.

In 1927, Dr. Tjipto Mangunkusumo founded a group of students from Bandung ( West Java ) in the Dutch East Indies , led by a certain Soekarno, the Perserikatan Nasional Indonesia (PNI). That same year, the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) unleashed an insurgency that would be brutally repressed by the colonial authorities. The government uses this pretext to arrest non-communist nationalist leaders, including Tjipto who is sent into exile on the island of Banda in the Moluccas , where he will spend 11 years.

The following year, the NIP changed its name to Partij Nasional Indonesia , and adopted the red and white flag for the future nation, Malay as a future national language under the name Bahasa Indonesia ( Indonesian ) and a song entitled “Indonesia Raya” (“Greater Indonesia”) as a national anthem. That same year, in Batavia (today’s Jakarta ), a congress of youth associations and indigenous students is held, which pronounces the “Oath of Youth”: “One nation, one language, one country: Indonesia”. The Indonesian nationalist movement is born.

In 1929, the colonial government asked the NIP to cease its activities. Soekarno and other leaders are arrested. They are tried in 1930. Soekarno is sentenced to 4 years in prison and the NIP is dissolved. The following year, nationalist leaders Hatta and Sjahrir found Pendidikan Nasional Indonesia (“Indonesian National Education”) or PNI Baru (“New NIP”). Soekarno is also released from prison but remains out of parties.

Soekarno and Hatta proclaim Indonesia’s independence in 1945 and are named President and Vice President of the Republic respectively. There is a period of armed and diplomatic confrontation with the Netherlands , who are trying to recover their colony. This period, which the Indonesians call Revolusi , ends in 1949 with the formal transfer of sovereignty over the territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Indonesia.

The NIP resurfaced in the 1950s. The first parliamentary elections in the history of Indonesia were held in 1955. Four parties: the NIP, the PKI and two Muslim parties, the Masyumi ( Majelis Syuro Muslimin Indonesia , “deliberative assembly of Muslims of Indonesia “) and Nahdatul Ulama (from the socio-cultural organization of the same name) share almost 80% of the votes.

In 1965, left-wing officers attempted a coup, immediately repressed by a general, Soeharto . The army accuses the PKI of having organized the coup. The decree of dissolution of the PKI triggers a campaign of massacres which will make between 500 000 and a million dead 1 . Soekarno is removed from power by Soeharto. The NIP is discredited.


  1. ↑ Armando Siahaan, “The Forgotten History of 1965,” Jakarta Globe , 30/06/09