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Today's Headlines Politics

  • Survey Shows High Degree of Confidence in Jokowi's Indonesia

    A survey from Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) shows that Indonesians' confidence in the performance of President Joko Widodo's government has risen. The survey signals that some 67 percent of the Indonesian population are satisfied with the government's performance, significantly higher compared to 42 percent in 2015. Reform-minded Widodo, often called Jokowi, has been in office since October 2014. However, he has to guide the nation amid global and domestic challenges (sluggish economic growth, low commodity prices and monetary policy changes of key central banks that trigger capital inflows/outflows).

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  • Regional Political Tensions: ASEAN Divided in South China Sea Case

    After an international tribunal came to the conclusion earlier this week that China has no legal claims to most of the South China Sea, there exists a lack of unity among Southeast Asian nations as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to respond to the matter. Among ASEAN officials there was no agreement to issue a joint statement regarding the ruling of the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration as ASEAN member nations are split on the matter.

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  • Politics Indonesia: Joko Widodo to Decide for another Cabinet Reshuffle?

    There has been rising speculation in Indonesia in recent months that Indonesian President Joko Widodo will decide for another cabinet reshuffle as several ministers are held responsible for the disappointing performance of their ministries (that have reacted too slow to implement new government guidelines, for example those guidelines set in the series of economic policy packages that have been released since September 2015). On 12 August 2015, Widodo had already reshuffled his cabinet, replacing six ministers.

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  • Regional Elections in Indonesia: Indonesia Votes for Local Leaders

    Today (09/12) millions of Indonesians head to the ballot boxes to vote for new regional leaders i.e. nine provincial governors, 36 mayors, and 224 district heads. These elections are important as the process of decentralization in the post-Suharto era has transferred considerable authority and power to the regions. As such, the regions now have a larger role and greater responsibility regarding economic development. Around 100 million people are eligible to cast a vote in the world's third-largest democracy. Today, 9 December 2015, has been declared a public national holiday.

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  • Politics of Indonesia: House Approves 2016 State Budget

    Late on Friday evening (30/10), after 11 hours of discussion, Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) approved the 2016 State Budget. This is good news for the government as it now has the opportunity to reform fiscal policy and continue with its development programs. The government budget deficit is expected to rise to 2.15 percent of the country's gross domestic product (from 1.9 percent of GDP in the revised 2015 edition), a bit closer to the maximum three-percent-of-GDP rule that is allowed by Indonesian law.

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  • Joko Widodo Presents Indonesia’s 2016 State Budget Draft in Parliament

    On Friday (14/08) the Indonesian government unveiled its 2016 State Budget draft at a session in the House of Representatives (DPR). The draft is important as it shows government targets regarding the macroeconomy of Indonesia and it shows on what fields the government will focus in terms of public spending. The government - led by Indonesian President Joko Widodo - is optimistic that economic growth will finally rebound after four years of slowing economic growth as its 2016 GDP growth target was set at 5.5 percent (y/y).

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  • Political News Indonesia: Joko Widodo Reshuffles Cabinet

    Nearly one year after inauguration, Indonesian President Joko Widodo reshuffled his cabinet on Wednesday (12/08) due to the perceived disappointing performance of several ministers as Indonesia’s economy has continued to slow in 2015. Widodo installed six new ministers in a ceremony at the State Palace in Jakarta. The reshuffle aims to boost investors’ confidence in Indonesian assets. Today, the rupiah and Indonesian stocks are weakening severely due to China’s decision to devalue its yuan.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Down on China’s Yuan Devaluation

    Indonesian stocks are experiencing a remarkable fall on Tuesday (11/08). In the first trading session, the benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index) plunged 2.15 percent to 4,646.95, its lowest level since early March 2014 and leading declines among Southeast Asian stock indices. Stocks in Asia have been hit by China’s decision to allow its currency to weaken against the US dollar (the yuan fell 1.6 percent against the US dollar after the move dragging down other Asian currencies including the Indonesian rupiah).

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  • Will Indonesia Ban Consumption & Distribution of Alcohol?

    After having banned the sale of alcoholic drinks in minimarkets, Indonesia may see the birth of another law concerning alcohol. Several secular and Islamic political parties seem to back a bill prohibiting the sale, production, distribution and consumption of drinks that contain over 1 percent alcohol. This bill is among the 37 so-called priority bills expected to be passed this year. Although the new bill had been first proposed in 2012 by two Islamic parties - National Development Party (PPP) and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) - it had laid on the shelf.

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  • Political Update: Pact Awesome Indonesia & Red-White Coalitions

    Tensions within Indonesian parliament may have eased after the two opposing coalitions signed a limited power-sharing pact on Monday (17/11) after weeks of negotiations. This pact is expected to reinforce investor confidence in Indonesian politics amid improved political certainty. Previously, parliament was divided into two rival coalitions: the Awesome Indonesia Coalition (Koalisi Indonesia Hebat), which backs Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and the Red-White Coalition (Koalisi Merah-Putih), which is led by Prabowo Subianto.

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Latest Columns Politics

  • Elections Signals Big Questions on Indonesia's Future Democracy

    Recent elections in Indonesia have met with a great deal of attention and look to be a decisive moment for the country. We are looking at a country that has major financial problems and also is making a decision about the direction of its democracy. Prabowo Subianto has pledged to conduct a rollback in some of the aspects of Indonesia’s democracy. So the supporters of Indonesian democracy will be watching very closely to see how the recent election events will unfold.

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  • Quick Count Results Indonesian Election Mostly in Favour of Jokowi

    As had been predicted previously by various popularity surveys, the outcome of the Indonesian presidential election, a race between Joko Widodo (known as Jokowi) and Prabowo Subianto, was close. In fact, after the unofficial yet reliable quick count results had been collected, both camps claimed a victory. However, the majority of the quick count results show a Jokowi victory with a margin of about five to six percentage points. On 22 July 2014, the Indonesian General Elections Commission (KPU) will announce the official result.

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  • Why Are Foreign Investors Concerned about a Prabowo Subianto Win?

    The result of Indonesia’s presidential election (scheduled for 9 July 2014), which has become a tight race between Prabowo Subianto and Joko Widodo (Jokowi), will for sure have a large impact on foreign investors’ confidence in Indonesian politics and the economy. A few weeks ago, a survey of Deutsche Bank showed that a majority of respondents (consisting of foreign investors) intend to sell their Indonesian assets if controversial candidate Prabowo Subianto will be elected. What are foreigners’ perceptions of a Subianto win?

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  • Presidential Election Indonesia 2014: 2nd Television Debate Jokowi-Prabowo

    Sunday evening (15/06), the second debate between Indonesia’s two presidential candidates - Prabowo Subianto and Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo - was held. This debate was broadcast live on various Indonesian television stations and - once again - managed to become a trending topic on social media. The debate, the theme of which was ‘development of the economy and social welfare‘, was characterized by a nationalistic and protectionist tone. This tone had already been set by Subianto in the past weeks but now Jokowi also stressed protectionism.

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  • Indonesia Presidential Election: Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo vs Prabowo Subianto

    It had been speculated for a while, but yesterday the official declaration of Indonesia's presidential candidates and their running mates (the vice-presidential candidates) were presented. In the upcoming election, scheduled for 9 July 2014, Jakarta Governor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo will face Prabowo Subianto, former army general and former son-in-law to president Suharto (Indonesia's second president), in a battle for the country's presidential seat. What is there to tell about this battle?

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate and Stocks Gain Ground on Friday

    The week ended well for both the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate and the benchmark Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah appreciated 0.30 percent to IDR 11,413 per US dollar at the end of Friday's trading day (16/05). Meanwhile, the IHSG surged 0.80 percent to finish just above the psychological level of 5,000 points. The good performance was supported by investors' positive response towards the latest political developments in Indonesia.

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  • Indonesian Politics: the Presidential Candidates' Running Mates

    Joko Widodo, the presidential candidate of the PDI-P (Indonesia's current largest opposition party and which won the 2014 legislative election last April) may announce his running mate (the vice presidential candidate) on Wednesday (14/05). Newsportal Bisnis.com reported that Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, hinted at this during a brief conversation between Jokowi and journalists on Monday. Names that are frequently mentioned in connection to the position of running mate of Jokowi are Jusuf Kalla and Abraham Samad.

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  • Preliminary Analysis Parliamentary Election Result in Indonesia

    Although several quick counts of today's legislative election in Indonesia still continue, the big picture is clear. The current opposition party PDI-P will win Indonesia's 2014 parliamentary election, followed by Golkar and Gerindra. This is no surprise as most surveys that were released ahead of the election indicated that these three political parties would be the major contenders. As a whole, the election went relatively smoothly, with only a few minor incidents. The official result will be announced on 9 May 2014.

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  • Parliamentary Election in Indonesia; Overview of Popular Political Parties

    On Wednesday 9 April 2014, the Indonesian electorate (consisting of about 190 million people out of a total population of around 250 million) will vote for both the country's national and regional legislatures. This legislative election also bears a big influence on the presidential election that is scheduled for 9 July 2014 as a minimum of 25 percent of the popular vote in the legislative election (or 20 percent of seats in the House of Representatives, DPR) gives a party the authority to nominate a presidential candidate.

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  • The Jokowi Effect: Indonesia's Financial Markets Gain on Political Certainty

    A shock wave went through Indonesia's financial markets on Friday (14/03) after 15:00 local Jakarta time, when it became known that Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) is joining the presidential race for the July 2014 election. Moreover, he can count on full support from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), one of Indonesia's largest political parties, led by chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri. Few people doubt that Jokowi - current Governor of Jakarta - will be elected as the next president of Indonesia.

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