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Today's Headlines Politics

  • Remarkable: Indonesian Energy Minister Dismissed over US Citizenship

    Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resource Minister Arcandra Tahar was dismissed (honorably) from his post by President Joko Widodo on Monday (15/08) after reports surfaced that indicated Tahar holds American citizenship. Indonesian law does not recognize dual citizenship (except for persons under the age of 18 years). Tahar had only just been appointed the country's Energy Minister in a cabinet reshuffle that took place on 27 July 2016 (Tahar replaced Sudirman Said). State Secretary Pratikno announced the Tahar's dismissal in the late hours on Monday.

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  • Update Cabinet Reshuffle Indonesia: Who Are the New Ministers?

    On Wednesday (27/07) Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo confirmed that he has reshuffled his cabinet, a move aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of his cabinet. Widodo also announced the names of the new ministers. Two names are very interesting: (1) Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who was Indonesia's finance minister between 2005 and 2010, and (2) retired army general Wiranto, who played a key role in handling security issues during the transition from Suharto's New Order to the Reformation era. However, his name is linked to human rights violations.

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  • Politics in Indonesia: Widodo to Announce Cabinet Reshuffle

    In local media it is reported that Indonesian President Joko Widodo will announce another cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday afternoon (27/07). The three ministers that - according to speculation in media - are set to be replaced are Industry Minister Saleh Husin, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said, and National Development Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil. It would be the second cabinet reshuffle that is undertaken by Widodo (in August 2015 he replaced six ministers in a cabinet reshuffle).

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  • 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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Latest Columns Politics

  • 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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  • Jokowi Candidate for Indonesian Presidency; Markets React Positively

    After months of uncertainty and speculation, Governor of Jakarta Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) has finally declared to run for the Indonesian presidency in the presidential election scheduled for 9 July 2014. Jokowi is backed by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), one of the largest political parties in Indonesia, led by chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri. On Friday (14/03), Megawati released a statement in which she announced to fully support Jokowi in the upcoming elections.

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  • Analysis of Indonesia's Current Account Deficit: the Structural Oil Problem

    Fitch Ratings, one of the three major global credit rating agencies, estimates that Indonesia's current account deficit will reach USD $27.4 billion, equivalent to 3.1 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014. As such, Fitch Ratings' forecast is more pessimistic than forecasts presented by both Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) and government. Both these institutions expect to curb the current account deficit below the three percent of GDP mark (a sustainable level). Global investors continue to carefully monitor the deficit.

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  • Can Joko Widodo Accelerate the Democratization Process in Indonesia?

    With Indonesia's presidential election approaching (9 July 2014), investors - both domestic and foreign - have become more hesitant to commit to large investments, instead preferring to wait for the election results first. Obviously, investors want to see a 'market friendly' president to lead Southeast Asia's largest economy for (at least) the next five years; a ruler who can safeguard a conducive investment climate. For the Indonesian people, a just ruler is needed; one who can improve Indonesia's political and social issues.

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  • Corruption Scandal: Head of SKK Migas Arrested on Alleged Bribery Charges

    Late on Tuesday evening (13/08), the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested Rudi Rubiandini, head of the Upstream Oil and Gas regulatory special task force (SKK Migas) for allegedly accepting bribes amounting to USD $400,000 from Kernel Oil Pte Ltd, which is headquartered in Singapore. Four other people were also arrested in connection with this case. Rubiandini is currently being questioned by the KPK. The institution has one day to determine Rubiandini's legal status.

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  • Indonesia’s 2014 Presidential Candidates; a Profile of Aburizal Bakrie

    Although Indonesia’s next presidential election will be held in mid-2014, Aburizal Bakrie already announced in 2012 that he would run for the presidency on behalf of the Golkar party, one of the leading political parties of Indonesia and once the strong political vehicle of Suharto during the New Order regime (1965-1998). However, Bakrie, chairman of Golkar and often referred to by his nickname 'Ical', is one of the most controversial figures in modern Indonesian politics and business.

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  • Names that Top the Presidential Polls Are Not Considered a Step Foreward

    Yesterday Lembaga Survei Indonesia (LSI), a leading Indonesian public opinion research institute, published the result of a survey that indicated Megawati Soekarnoputri is leading the poll to become the country's next president in 2014. In the survey she is closely followed by Aburizal Bakrie and Prabowo Subianto. This preliminary result can be regarded negative as these names are 'products' of the old regime and thus will not support further democratization.

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  • President Yudhoyono Back to Take Leadership of his Crumbling Democratic Party

    Just a few years ago, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party (in Indonesian Partai Demokrat or PD) enjoyed huge popularity among Indonesia's population. More than one fifth of the electorate voted for the 'Democrats' in the 2009 parliamentary election, a notable achievement in Indonesia's pluralistic society. In particular, the party's hard stance towards corruption was likened by the people. Now, however, the party crumbles under its own weight.

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  • Towards Next Year's Legislative Elections: PD, Golkar and PDI-P

    Next year, Indonesia will have new parliamentary and presidential elections. Now already, these elections are highly relevant as political parties need to find ways to gain popular support and need to look for the right presidential candidates. Political parties or coalitions of political parties that receive at least 20 percent of the votes during the parliamentary election, are allowed to nominate a presidential candidate. Thereafter, a presidential election - in which a few candidates participate - will decide the next Indonesian president.

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