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Today's Headlines Politics

  • Indonesia's Presidential Election Result: Prabowo Subianto or Joko Widodo?

    With only one more day to go before the General Elections Commission (KPU) will release the official result of the July 2014 presidential election, it seems almost certain that it will take a Constitutional Court ruling for the final judgement. Over the weekend, data from KPU indicates that Joko Widodo has won the election by a margin of about five percentage points. However, his rival Prabowo Subianto has already stated that he will challenge the result as he claims that there are indications of fraud at several polling stations.

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  • Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Prabowo Subianto & Joko Widodo Will Meet

    Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who will end his second and final five-year term in October 2014, announced to meet both presidential candidates (Prabowo Subianto and Joko Widodo) in the country’s State Palace on Sunday (20/07). In this meeting, president Yudhoyono will emphasize the importance of a peaceful and orderly transition to the next government. Currently, it remains unknown who of the two candidates won the presidential election (held on 9 July 2014). Due to the tight race, chances of social unrest increase.

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  • Investors Awaiting Indonesian Election Result: Latest Political Developments

    Although investors in Indonesian stocks received positive news from the USA after Federal Reserve Head Janet Yellen stated on Tuesday (15/07) that the US economic recovery remains incomplete therefore justifying the continuation of a loose monetary policy for the foreseeable future as well as solid economic expansion of 7.5 percent (yoy) in China during the second quarter of 2014, the domestic political context in Southeast Asia’s largest economy remains a concern. What are the latest political developments in Indonesia?

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  • News Update Indonesian Presidential Election: Prabowo vs Jokowi

    Since 07:00 am local time, Indonesians have been able to cast their votes for the country’s presidential election; a tight race between Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto. Despite the narrow gap between both presidential candidates (based on various surveys), the election has been conducted in good order so far. The polling stations will close at 13:00 pm local time. Hereafter, live quick count scores, which are traditionally quite accurate, will be presented. By approximately 17:00 pm local time, the quick counts are expected to be finalized.

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  • Election Indonesia: Live Quick Count Joko Widodo vs Prabowo Subianto

    Today, the Indonesian people decide who will become the next president of the world’s largest archipelago for the period 2014-2019. The Indonesian electorate numbers about 185.6 million (out a total population of 250 million) and they have only two options to choose from: Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Prabowo Subianto, which also implies that the election will only require one round. Voting starts at 07:00 am local time and the ballot boxes close at 13:00 pm local time. Indonesian financial markets are closed.

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  • Democracy in Indonesia: Presidential Election between Jokowi and Prabowo

    Wednesday 9 July 2014, is a big day for Indonesia as on that day the Indonesian people will vote for the successor of incumbent Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who had been given the mandate to lead two five-year presidential terms between 2004 and 2014 (and who is the only president in the era of Reformasi that was re-elected by the people). Now, the people have to choose between Joko Widodo (Jokowi), joined by running mate Jusuf Kalla, and Prabowo Subianto, who is joined by running mate Hatta Rajasa.

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  • Indonesia Election: LSI Survey Shows Rebound in Popularity of Joko Widodo

    After having seen his lead over rival Prabowo Subianto narrow considerably in recent months, the latest survey released by the Indonesia Survey Circle (LSI) today (07/07) indicates that presidential candidate Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo’s popularity has rebounded, although the race remains tight. According to the survey, Jokowi and running mate Jusuf Kalla secured 47.8 percent of respondents’ votes, slightly higher than their rivals Prabowo Subianto and running mate Hatta Rajasa at 44.2 percent.

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  • Politics in Indonesia: Presidential Election 2014, Jokowi vs Prabowo

    With only one more week to go before the Indonesian people will go to the ballot boxes on 9 July 2014 to vote for Indonesia's next leader, speculation and news about the presidential race has become intense. On social media, discussions among Indonesians about the election are intense and emotional. This is exacerbated by the high level of uncertainty with regard to the outcome of the election. Recent surveys indicate that the initial large gap between candidates Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Prabowo Subianto has nearly vanished.

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  • SBY’s Democratic Party Supports Prabowo Subianto in Election

    Incumbent Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party (Partai Demokrat, abbreviated PD) announced that it will support the Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa pair in the upcoming presidential election on 9 July 2014. Previously, the party had declared neutrality. On Monday (30/06), PD Executive Chairman Syarief Hasan stated that the party’s leadership advises all its members and supporters to back Prabowo Subianto in his quest to become the next Indonesian president.

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  • Debate Indonesian Vice-Presidential Candidates: Hatta Rajasa vs Jusuf Kalla

    Opinions about who won the vice-presidential debate, held on Sunday (29/06) in the Bidakara hotel (South Jakarta), were mostly mixed. However, when reading the Indonesian media on Monday morning there seems to be a preference for Hatta Rajasa’s performance (the running mate of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto). When watching the debate, it was clear that Rajasa is a much more rhetorically gifted speaker compared to his rival Jusuf Kalla (Joko Widodo’s running mate).

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Latest Columns Politics

  • Indonesia Condemns US' Recognition of Jerusalem as Capital of Israel

    Across the world, leaders express criticism on US President Donald Trump's decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. Moreover, Trump announced that the American embassy is to be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. While Trump claims that these decisions constitute a step to advance the peace process and emphasizes that the US will continue to facilitate the peace process between both sides, fierce criticism unleashed following Trump's statements.

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  • Will Indonesia Move the Capital Away from Jakarta & Java Island?

    The Indonesian government is still studying the possibility of building a new capital city in Indonesia, thus replacing Jakarta that has become overcrowded with approximately 10 million official residents (the real figure may be much higher as many unregistered Indonesians live in the capital). Moreover, every morning there is a huge inflow of people (originating from the satellite cities around Jakarta) who are heading to their office or place of work. This causes great pressure on the city's fragile infrastructure.

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  • Indonesian Politics: Ahok Withdraws Appeal against Blasphemy Conviction

    To us it came as a surprise to learn this morning that former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as Ahok) decided not to appeal against his controversial blasphemy conviction earlier this month when the Jakarta Court found him guilty of insulting Islam and therefore sentenced him to two years in prison, a case that is regarded a setback for Indonesian pluralism and religious tolerance.

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  • Wake up Call for Indonesia: What Can We Conclude from Ahok's Verdict?

    Around the globe media reported about the controversial decision of the Jakarta Court to hand a two-year prison sentence to former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as Ahok), a much tougher sentence than had been demanded by prosecutors. Ahok, a Christian from Chinese descent, was imprisoned on grounds of blasphemy. However, most analysts assume Ahok is victim of a flawed and corrupt political and judicial system.

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  • Rising Influence Hardline Islam & Billionaires Club on Indonesian Politics

    After having carefully followed the 2017 gubernatorial election in Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta, there are a couple of worrying signs. One, the rising influence of hardline Islam on Indonesian politics (and prosecution). Two, the rising influence of a handful of Indonesian "billionaire" businessmen, led by controversial Prabowo Subianto, who seek the highest political power within Southeast Asia's largest economy. Three, the cooperation between the two aforementioned forces as they each strive to fulfill their (separate) ambitions.

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  • Politics in Indonesia: Why is the Jakarta Election Important?

    Jakarta's gubernatorial election is important for two reasons: (1) it is an important test case to determine the current state of religious and ethnic tolerance (pluralism) within Indonesia, and (2) it forms a prelude to Indonesia's 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections. Today, the second round of the Jakarta gubernatorial election is held, a tight race between incumbent Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) and former education minister Anies Baswedan.

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  • Politics of Indonesia: Has Democracy Gone Over the Top?

    At the inauguration of the People's Conscience Party (Hanura)'s new central leadership board on Wednesday (22/02), Indonesian President Joko Widodo said "Indonesian democracy has recently gone over the top". He referred to the various controversial cases and demonstrations that have emerged in recent months involving hate speech related to race, religion, ethnicity and class.

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  • Politics in Indonesia: Jakarta's 2017 Gubernatorial Election

    It is not a coincidence that ethnic, religious and social tensions have risen in Indonesia ahead of Jakarta's gubernatorial election on 15 February 2017. Indonesian Police is currently making over hours as various people, including political and religious leaders, have been reported to police for blasphemy or hate speech. One of the people that is being trialed is incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Purnama Tjahja (Ahok), who is one of the three men who compete to become the capital's next governor.

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  • Politics of Indonesia: Anti-Ahok Demonstration with Political Motives

    On Friday (04/11) a massive demonstration is scheduled to be staged in Jakarta. In this protest rally thousands of people are expected to gather to ventilate their disapproval of incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Cahaya Purnama (better known as Ahok). The rally is organized by a coalition of Islamic groups including hard-line group Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) which has often used violence to achieve their targets. The Muslim groups accuse Ahok of blasphemy by misquoting Quranic verses during a speech in Kepulauan Seribu, off the coast of Jakarta, in early October.

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  • Analysis Performance & Accomplishments Indonesia Under Jokowi

    After two years in office, the time is ripe now to take a look at the performance and accomplishments of the government under the leadership of Joko Widodo, often called Jokowi. Indonesia's seventh president was a bit unlucky. In the first year of his rule, commodity prices were at multi-year lows (curbing Indonesia's foreign exchange earnings) amid sluggish global economic growth, while capital outflows from Indonesia occurred on the back of monetary tightening in the USA, sending the rupiah to a 17-year low in September 2015.

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