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Today's Headlines Politics

  • '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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  • Market Wants Jokowi to Announce Composition New Indonesian Cabinet

    It remains unknown whether President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Vice President Jusuf Kalla will announce the names of the ministers inside the new cabinet today. On Wednesday (22/10) it was reported that a number of ministerial candidates failed to pass the screening of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK), which made Jokowi decide to seek for additional candidates. The market, however, would like to know the composition of the cabinet as soon as possible.

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  • Cabinet Joko Widodo: Market Waiting for Indonesia’s Ministerial Candidates

    The market is eagerly awaiting the names of the ministers inside the cabinet of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). However, the market needs to be a bit more patient as there has been a problem with the initial list that was submitted by Jokowi to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK). Reportedly, 30 percent of the ministerial candidates mentioned on the list did not pass the screening of the KPK due to (perceived) corrupt behaviour or troubled financial records.

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  • Inauguration Joko Widodo Boosts Indonesian Stocks, Bonds & Rupiah

    Indonesian stocks, bonds and the rupiah exchange rate performed well ahead of - and during - the inauguration of Joko Widodo (Jokowi) as Indonesia’s seventh President on Monday morning (20 October 2014). At 10:45 am local Jakarta time, when Jokowi was making his speech in front of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), the Jakarta Composite Index had surged 1.36 percent to 5,097.25 points, while the rupiah had appreciated 0.78 percent to IDR 12,015 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index.

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  • Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo Becomes Indonesia’s 7th President Today

    Today (Monday 20 October 2014) Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, will be inaugurated as the seventh President of the Republic of Indonesia, effectively ending the decade-long leadership of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The inauguration will take place in Jakarta’s DPR/MPR building, the seat of government for the Indonesian legislative, while most of the celebrations will take place around Monas (National Monument) in Central Jakarta. Jokowi is likened by many due to his humble background and his reform-mindedness.

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  • Strong Performance Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah on Friday

    Indonesian stocks and the rupiah exchange rate strengthened considerably on Friday (17/10) due to speculation that president-elect Joko Widodo will raise prices of subsidized fuels soon after his inauguration as Indonesia’s seventh President on Monday 20 October 2014. Furthermore, a meeting between Widodo and powerful opposition leader Prabowo Subianto on Friday morning also managed to ease concerns about political stability in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. Lastly, rising indices on Wall Street added positive market sentiments.

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  • Joko Widodo Meets Prabowo Subianto, Indonesia’s Political Tensions to Ease?

    Political uncertainties in Indonesia brought on by the rivalry between president-elect Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) and defeated candidate Prabowo Subianto may have eased somewhat as both men met on Friday morning (17/10) in Jakarta. After the meeting Subianto stated that he fully supports the Jokowi-led government, while Jokowi stated that he is open to receive criticism from opposition in the House of Representatives (DPR). Jokowi will be inaugurated on 20 October 2014 as Indonesia’s seventh president.

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  • JP Morgan and Standard & Poor’s about Indonesia’s Equity Market

    Executive director of equity research at JP Morgan Securities Indonesia Aditya Srinath painted a positive picture about the equity market in Indonesia despite the lingering risks emerging from domestic political instability and looming capital outflows due to higher US interest rates in the second quarter of 2015. Srinath stated that Indonesia’s economic resilience so far as well as falling domestic interest rates among Indonesian financial institutions are positive signs for the equity market.

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  • Indonesia Political Update: Prabowo Controls Majority in MPR

    After a long plenary session of the People’s Consultative Assembly (or MPR), Zulkifli Hasan has been elected as the Speaker of the MPR for the period 2014-2019. Zulkifli Hasan, a former Indonesian Forestry Minister, is backed by the Merah-Putih coalition and thus his election constitutes another blow for president-elect Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi). The Merah-Putih coalition is a coalition of six political parties that support vindictive defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto.

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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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