And therefore, the arrival of a new president, cabinet and House of Representatives (DPR) has the potential to uproot established conditions. That also explains why investors, typically, wait-and-see before making major decisions shortly ahead of Indonesian elections.

What Do We Know So Far?

In terms of coalitions and presidential candidates for the 2024 elections, we’re likely to see three coalitions that support three separate presidential candidates. We are relieved to see (at least) three sides joining the race because Indonesia’s 2014 and 2019 presidential elections had heavily polarized the country (including a degree of religious tensions). Important reason for polarization was that the country became divided into two camps. We assume that the presence of a third side will not cause a prolonged period of tensions across the country.

The two key parties missing in the table above are Golkar (Indonesia’s third-biggest party) and the National Mandate Party (PAN). Theoretically, it is possible that these two parties team up to form a fourth coalition. In the case of Golkar, it is clear that the party wants to nominate Golkar Chairman Airlangga Hartarto as its presidential candidate. Meanwhile, PAN has been flirting with the idea to nominate Erick Thohir as vice-presidential candidate.

The main problem with this fourth coalition would be, though, that Golkar Chairman Airlangga Hartarto is not a popular figure in Indonesian society, and so the coalition would be destined to lose the race. And therefore, it would make more sense to see these parties join one of the three ‘existing’ coalitions in order to safeguard a number of ministerial seats in the next cabinet if their coalition wins the race. While Golkar still strives to find a situation in which it can nominate Hartarto as its presidential candidate, PAN party officials seem divided between joining the PDI-P or Gerindra in a coalition. Particularly Golkar holds great bargaining power in coalition-forming as this party remains among the most popular political parties in Indonesia.


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