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Today's Headlines Politics

  • 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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  • 'Working Cabinet' of Joko Widodo; Analysis of Indonesia's New Cabinet

    The new cabinet of Indonesia, which had been announced by Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Sunday (27/10), will be inaugurated this morning at 10:30 am local Jakarta time zone, followed by a plenary cabinet meeting at 14:00 pm. Reactions from people and markets are mixed. Although it is positive that the cabinet includes several professional technocrats (contrary to political party politicians) on key positions such as the Finance Ministry and the Coordinating Ministry for Economics, there is criticism on the ‘reformist nature’ of the cabinet.

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  • New Cabinet of Indonesia (2014-2019): Meet Joko Widodo’s Ministers

    After a week of speculation, Indonesian President Joko Widodo presented the composition of his working cabinet on Sunday afternoon (26/10). The final composition took some time as 8 of Widodo’s ministerial candidates failed to pass the screening of the country’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK). Although Widodo was not forced to have his candidates screened by these two institutions, he wanted to make sure that they have clean records in terms of corruption.

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Latest Columns Politics

  • 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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