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Today's Headlines Politics

  • Presidential Election Indonesia 2014: Debate Jusuf Kalla vs Hatta Rajasa

    This evening (Sunday 29 June 2014), the fourth presidential debate took place, organized in the Bidakara hotel in South Jakarta. However, it was not a debate between the two presidential candidates, Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, but between both vice presidential candidates: Jusuf Kalla (Jokowi’s running mate) and Hatta Rajasa (Subianto’s running mate). The theme of tonight's debate was development of human resources, science and technology in Indonesia.

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  • Prabowo Subianto: Dictatorship, Nazi-Video & International Relations

    In the past week, commotion occurred in Indonesia related to the presidential election (which is scheduled for 9 July 2014). This commotion, which involved two 2001 interviews by award-winning American journalist Allan Nairn, a Nazi video, and US ambassador Robert O. Blake Jr, was related to controversial presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, former army general and former son-in-law to Indonesia’s second president Suharto. The 2014 election has become a tight race between Subianto and market favourite Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo.

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  • Election Indonesia: 3rd Presidential Debate Prabowo Subianto vs Jokowi

    On Sunday evening (22/06), the third debate between the two presidential candidates of Indonesia - Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) and Prabowo Subianto - took place and was broadcast live on national television by various stations. Through these debates the presidential candidates are able to outline their vision while trying to increase their popularity among the Indonesian electorate (on 9 July 2014 the Indonesian people will vote for their new leader). The theme of this third debate was ‘international politics and national security’.

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  • Foreign Investors Sell Indonesian Assets if Prabowo Subianto is Elected

    A survey of the Deutsche Bank, one of the world's leading financial service providers, showed that the foreign business community will not be content if Prabowo Subianto takes over the presidential seat from incumbent president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. According to this survey, 56 percent of respondents are planning to sell Indonesian assets if the electorate chooses Subianto as next president in the election that is scheduled for 9 July 2014. About 13 percent answered to buy Indonesian assets in the same scenario.

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  • Indonesia Presidential Election 2014: Television Debate Jokowi vs Prabowo

    On Monday evening (09/06), the first debate between Indonesia’s two presidential candidates (joined by their running mates) was held and broadcast live on national television by various Indonesian television stations. This debate is the first in a series of five debates in which both teams - Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo and Jusuf Kalla vs Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa - are able to share their vision and mission to the Indonesian electorate. The debate immediately became a trending topic on social media.

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  • Kadin: Indonesia Can Take Advantage of Political Turmoil in Thailand

    The political turmoil that has been plaguing Thailand since 2006 can become an advantage for Indonesia if the country manages to attract investors that were previously engaged in business or exploring business activities in Thailand. Although Indonesian politics are characterized by a certain level of uncertainty as well, particularly ahead of the upcoming July presidential election, the political situation is much more under control in Indonesia. Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia are Indonesia's greatest economic rivals in Southeast Asia.

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  • What is on the Political Agenda of Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto?

    With the presidential election of Indonesia (scheduled for 9 July) becoming a battle between Governor of Jakarta Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, and former army general and Suharto crony Prabowo Subianto, it is worth taking a closer look into the ideas and policies that both candidates would like to implement if elected as the next Indonesian president, as well as their stance on specific economic issues. The viewpoints that are mentioned below are based on the documents that both parties provided to the General Election Commission.

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  • PDI-P Declares Coalition & Jokowi's Candidacy; Rupiah and Stocks Surge

    Both the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate and the country's benchmark stock index (known as the Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) have strengthened significantly on Wednesday's trading day (14/05). The rupiah appreciated 0.76 percent to IDR 11,450 per US dollar by 15:00 local Jakarta time according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. Meanwhile, the IHSG gained 1.09 percent to 4,975.13 by the same time. Main reason for this strong performance is the official declaration of the PDI-P to form a coalition with NasDem and PKB.

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  • Indonesia Presidential Election Update: Jokowi-Kalla versus Prabowo-Hatta?

    The Indonesian presidential election, scheduled for 9 July 2014, is most likely to become a battle between Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Prabowo Subianto. Although this had already been expected as both men can rely on popular support (according to various surveys) and have the political backing of important political parties, a number of developments on Tuesday (13/05) seem to confirm this expectation. Moreover, there is more clarity about the vice-presidential candidates that will join the July election.

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  • Hatta Rajasa Pairs with Prabowo Subianto in Presidential Election?

    In Indonesian media it was reported today (13/05) that Hatta Rajasa, the current Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, will meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono this afternoon. It is speculated that in this meeting Rajasa wil ask permission to resign from his post in order to be able to run as Prabowo Subianto's running mate in the presidential election (9 July 2014). A 2008 law stipulates that ministers need to resign when participating in the election (as presidential or vice-presidential candidate) to avert a possible conflict of interest.

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Latest Columns Politics

  • Politics Indonesia: Arcandra Tahar & Ignasius Jonan Back in Cabinet

    On Friday (14/10) Indonesian President Joko Widodo appointed Ignasius Jonan as Indonesia's new Energy and Mineral Resources Minister. Jonan is the nation's former Transportation Minister who was replaced by Budi Karya Sumadi in a cabinet reshuffle in late July 2016. Meanwhile, the position of Energy and Mineral Resources Minister had been empty (although for the time being filled by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan) after the dismissal of Arcandra Tahar in mid-August 2016.

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  • Economic Update Indonesia: What about Economic Growth in 2015?

    Although Indonesia’s economic growth slowed further in 2014, there is optimism that growth will accelerate in 2015 despite sluggish global economic conditions (curbing Indonesia’s export performance) and Bank Indonesia’s relatively high interest rate environment. Indonesia’s central bank has raised its BI rate several times over the past one and a half years in an effort to combat high inflation (caused by fuel price hikes), curb capital outflows ahead of US monetary tightening, limit the current account deficit and support the rupiah.

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  • History of Indonesia: Politics and the Economy under Sukarno

    By the mid-1960s, politics and the economy of Indonesia had turned into disaster. After Independence in 1945 (and the cessation of hostilities with the Dutch in 1949), the young nation was plagued by hostile internal politics in which several political forces - consisting of the army, nationalists, Muslims, and communists - opposed each other. For over a decade, Sukarno, Indonesia’s first president, had reasonable success in keeping these forces in check by the force of his own personality. However, by the mid-1960s his failure became evident.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Strengthen on Politics and Fuel Price Hike

    Indonesian stocks and the rupiah have rebounded on Friday due to several internal and external factors. During the first trading session on Friday (17/10), the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, or IHSG) surged 0.94 percent to 4,998.14 points. Meanwhile, based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate had appreciated 0.26 percent to IDR 12,228 per US dollar by 12:30 pm local Jakarta time. Why do Indonesian stocks and the rupiah perform well on Friday?

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  • Moody’s Investors Service Positive about Indonesia’s Economy

    Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service stated that it maintains a stable outlook for Indonesia’s sovereign and corporate debt rating in the next quarters due to the country’s healthy credit fundamentals, solid macroeconomy, and reduced political tensions. Moody’s believes that Indonesia’s fundamentals are strong enough to offset the negative impact of external pressures such as looming higher US interest rates and slowing economic growth in China. Moody’s had raised Indonesia’s sovereign debt rating to investment grade in late 2011.

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  • Performance of the Indonesian Rupiah & Stocks in the Past Week

    Amid political uncertainty and a looming increase in US interest rates, Indonesian stocks and the rupiah exchange rate weakened considerably in the past week. Market participants are increasingly concerned about the situation in Indonesia’s parliament where a majority of political parties - named the Merah-Putih coalition (led by defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto) - is expected to undermine president-elect Joko Widodo’s reform programs as well as the democratic foundations of the country.

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  • Stock Market Update Indonesia: Down on Politics and Global Data

    Indonesian stocks plunged considerably on Thursday (02/10). The country’s benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) declined 2.73 percent to 5,000.81 points, the largest drop in almost six months. This poor performance was caused by both external and internal factors. Externally, various weak economic data from the USA and Europe as well as an appreciating yen impacted negatively on Asian stock indices. Internally, market participants responded negatively toward the inauguration of the new parliament.

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  • Battle Jokowi-Prabowo; Democratic Future of Indonesia in Jeopardy?

    More and more concerns have arisen recently regarding the democratic future of Indonesia. In fact, some media have reported that an impeachment of president-elect Joko Widodo, who will assume office on 20 October 2014, could become a reality as opposition in parliament - led by controversial and vindictive former army general Prabowo Subianto - is large. The Merah-Putih coalition, referring to the coalition of political parties that supported Subianto in the presidential election (which he narrowly lost to Widodo) will control 353 of the 560 seats in parliament.

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  • Prabowo Subianto Coalition Accepts Indonesia’s Constitutional Court Verdict

    It took almost six hours for the Constitutional Court of Indonesia (Mahkamah Konstitusi) on Thursday (21/08) to read out 300 pages of a lengthy 4,392-page verdict in the case filed by defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, who claimed that the result of Indonesia’s July 2014 presidential election was invalid due to widespread violations and fraud that allegedly occurred during the voting and counting processes. During the read out it became increasingly clear that the court would reject Subianto’s claims due to a lack of evidence.

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  • Constitutional Court Ruling: Prabowo Subianto Not Expected to Accept Defeat

    At 14:00 pm local Jakarta time zone, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) is expected to announce its decision on Prabowo Subianto’s election result challenge. The defeated presidential candidate filed a court case claiming that massive fraud and violations took place amid the voting and counting processes in the context of Indonesia’s July 2014 presidential election, won by Joko Widodo (securing 53.15 percent of the votes). Although the court’s decision is final and legally binding, Subianto not expected to surrender yet.

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