JAKARTA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party is to elect a new chairman in a meeting this month, a step expected to help pave consolidation among the party members ahead of presidential and legislative polls in 2014, party senior member said here on Thursday.
Indonesia is to hold direct presidential and legislative polls in 2014. Ten political parties are expected to join the race.
The party's step is made following the decline of the party's popularity from the top rank in the 2009 poll to the fourth rank recently after several of its high-profile figures, including former Chairman Anas Urbaningrum, were allegedly implicated on graft.
Jero Wacik, secretary of advisory board of the party, said that the congress would elect a figure who has vision in line with the vision of President Yudhoyono, chairman of the advisory board, indicating that the influence of Yudhoyono, who is to end his second presidential tenure by 2014, remains strong.
"The criteria of the new chairman is that he has a democratic spirit and is loyal to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono," said Wacik.
So far, President Yudhoyono, who may not compete again in the 2014 presidential poll, has not found his successor.
President Yudhoyono and other party senior members have striven to regain people's support on the party and intensive moves have been carried out recently.
One of his main challenges is to boost the solidity of the party after its ex-chairman Anas Urbaningrum resigned as the Anti- Corruption Watchdog named him a suspect.
The Democratic Party was set up before Yudhoyono posted his first presidential post in 2004. The party gained victory in the polls in 2009 by posting the top rank.
During the polls, the Democratic Party defeated two old big parties, Golkar Party, the biggest party during the 32-year rule of former dictator Soeharto, and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) led by former president Megawati Soekarnoputri, daughter of Indonesia's first President Soekarno who has many supporters in the country.