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Today's Headlines Politics

  • 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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  • Official Result of the Indonesian Legislative Election 2014 Released

    Only minutes ahead of the deadline on Friday (09/05), the General Election Commission (KPU) released the official results of Indonesia’s 2014 legislative election. As had been expected, the official result is highly similar to the quick count results that had been published on the day of election (09/04). The current main opposition party the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) won the election, securing 18.95 percent of the vote, followed by Golkar (14.75 percent) and the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) with 11.81 percent.

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  • Running Mate of Jokowi for Indonesian Presidential Election Announced Soon

    Indonesian newspaper Investor Daily reported that on Friday 9 May 2014 Joko Widodo, the presidential candidate of the PDI-P (winner of the April 2014 legislative election), will announce his running mate for the presidential election. According to the newspaper, Surya Paloh - founder of the NasDem party - said that the running mate (vice-presidential candidate) has already been agreed upon although he declined to mention a name. The PDI-P and NasDem formed a coalition last month in order to nominate a presidential candidate.

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Latest Columns Politics

  • Indonesia Condemns US' Recognition of Jerusalem as Capital of Israel

    Indonesia Condemns US' Recognition of Jerusalem as Capital of Israel

    Across the world, leaders express criticism on US President Donald Trump's decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. Moreover, Trump announced that the American embassy is to be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. While Trump claims that these decisions constitute a step to advance the peace process and emphasizes that the US will continue to facilitate the peace process between both sides, fierce criticism unleashed following Trump's statements.

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  • Will Indonesia Move the Capital Away from Jakarta & Java Island?

    Will Indonesia Move the Capital Away from Jakarta & Java Island?

    The Indonesian government is still studying the possibility of building a new capital city in Indonesia, thus replacing Jakarta that has become overcrowded with approximately 10 million official residents (the real figure may be much higher as many unregistered Indonesians live in the capital). Moreover, every morning there is a huge inflow of people (originating from the satellite cities around Jakarta) who are heading to their office or place of work. This causes great pressure on the city's fragile infrastructure.

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  • Indonesian Politics: Ahok Withdraws Appeal against Blasphemy Conviction

    Indonesian Politics: Ahok Withdraws Appeal against Blasphemy Conviction

    To us it came as a surprise to learn this morning that former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as Ahok) decided not to appeal against his controversial blasphemy conviction earlier this month when the Jakarta Court found him guilty of insulting Islam and therefore sentenced him to two years in prison, a case that is regarded a setback for Indonesian pluralism and religious tolerance.

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  • Wake up Call for Indonesia: What Can We Conclude from Ahok's Verdict?

    Wake up Call for Indonesia: What Can We Conclude from Ahok's Verdict?

    Around the globe media reported about the controversial decision of the Jakarta Court to hand a two-year prison sentence to former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as Ahok), a much tougher sentence than had been demanded by prosecutors. Ahok, a Christian from Chinese descent, was imprisoned on grounds of blasphemy. However, most analysts assume Ahok is victim of a flawed and corrupt political and judicial system.

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  • Rising Influence Hardline Islam & Billionaires Club on Indonesian Politics

    Rising Influence Hardline Islam & Billionaires Club on Indonesian Politics

    After having carefully followed the 2017 gubernatorial election in Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta, there are a couple of worrying signs. One, the rising influence of hardline Islam on Indonesian politics (and prosecution). Two, the rising influence of a handful of Indonesian "billionaire" businessmen, led by controversial Prabowo Subianto, who seek the highest political power within Southeast Asia's largest economy. Three, the cooperation between the two aforementioned forces as they each strive to fulfill their (separate) ambitions.

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  • Politics in Indonesia: Why is the Jakarta Election Important?

    Politics in Indonesia: Why is the Jakarta Election Important?

    Jakarta's gubernatorial election is important for two reasons: (1) it is an important test case to determine the current state of religious and ethnic tolerance (pluralism) within Indonesia, and (2) it forms a prelude to Indonesia's 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections. Today, the second round of the Jakarta gubernatorial election is held, a tight race between incumbent Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) and former education minister Anies Baswedan.

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  • Politics of Indonesia: Has Democracy Gone Over the Top?

    Politics of Indonesia: Has Democracy Gone Over the Top?

    At the inauguration of the People's Conscience Party (Hanura)'s new central leadership board on Wednesday (22/02), Indonesian President Joko Widodo said "Indonesian democracy has recently gone over the top". He referred to the various controversial cases and demonstrations that have emerged in recent months involving hate speech related to race, religion, ethnicity and class.

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  • Politics in Indonesia: Jakarta's 2017 Gubernatorial Election

    Politics in Indonesia: Jakarta's 2017 Gubernatorial Election

    It is not a coincidence that ethnic, religious and social tensions have risen in Indonesia ahead of Jakarta's gubernatorial election on 15 February 2017. Indonesian Police is currently making over hours as various people, including political and religious leaders, have been reported to police for blasphemy or hate speech. One of the people that is being trialed is incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Purnama Tjahja (Ahok), who is one of the three men who compete to become the capital's next governor.

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  • Politics of Indonesia: Anti-Ahok Demonstration with Political Motives

    Politics of Indonesia: Anti-Ahok Demonstration with Political Motives

    On Friday (04/11) a massive demonstration is scheduled to be staged in Jakarta. In this protest rally thousands of people are expected to gather to ventilate their disapproval of incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Cahaya Purnama (better known as Ahok). The rally is organized by a coalition of Islamic groups including hard-line group Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) which has often used violence to achieve their targets. The Muslim groups accuse Ahok of blasphemy by misquoting Quranic verses during a speech in Kepulauan Seribu, off the coast of Jakarta, in early October.

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  • Analysis Performance & Accomplishments Indonesia Under Jokowi

    Analysis Performance & Accomplishments Indonesia Under Jokowi

    After two years in office, the time is ripe now to take a look at the performance and accomplishments of the government under the leadership of Joko Widodo, often called Jokowi. Indonesia's seventh president was a bit unlucky. In the first year of his rule, commodity prices were at multi-year lows (curbing Indonesia's foreign exchange earnings) amid sluggish global economic growth, while capital outflows from Indonesia occurred on the back of monetary tightening in the USA, sending the rupiah to a 17-year low in September 2015.

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