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Today's Headlines Politics

  • Gita Wirjawan Resigns as Trade Minister to Focus on Presidential Bid

    Gita Wirjawan Resigns as Trade Minister to Focus on Presidential Bid

    Indonesia's Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan announced on Friday (31/01) that he resigned - with immediate effect - from the cabinet in order to focus on his ambition to become the next president of Indonesia in the 2014 presidential election, scheduled for 9 July. Wirjawan aims to be selected as presidential candidate in the Democratic Party’s presidential convention. The Democratic Party (PD), the political vehicle of current President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, was the largest party at the 2009 elections but has since lost popularity.

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  • Survey: PDI-P and Golkar still most Popular Indonesian Political Parties

    A countrywide survey conducted by the Indonesia Research Center (IRC) in late September 2013 ranked the PDI-P (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan) and the Golkar party on top of the poll ahead of the legislative elections that are scheduled for April 2014. In the survey, the PDI-P received 19.6 percent of the votes, while Golkar came in second with 16.3 percent. Both these parties have a long history in Indonesian politics and their popularity indicate that Indonesians seem to favour "old school" political parties.

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  • Official Joint Ministerial Statement of 2013 APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting

    Official Joint Ministerial Statement of 2013 APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting

    Finance Ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies convened its 20th annual meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, on 19 and 20 September 2013 under the Chairmanship of Dr. Muhamad Chatib Basri, Indonesia's Finance Minister. The meeting was attended by various delegates, including the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Managing Director of the World Bank Group, and the Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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  • Indonesian Voters Increasingly Turn Away from Islamic Parties

    According to research conducted by Lembaga Survei Indonesia (LSI), a leading Indonesian public opinion research institute, Indonesia's population increasingly prefers nationalist-oriented political parties (these parties stress the importance of a religious pluralist and harmonious society) over Islamic parties, which aim for a more dominant role of Islam in society. In 2014, Indonesia will organize its next legislative and presidential elections.

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  • House Passes New Law that Restricts Funding of Radical Movements

    Today, Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) passed a new law that restricts financial transactions that are meant for the funding of terrorist or radical organizations. People or institutions engaged in such transactions will face up to 15 years in prison and fines up to US $10.5 million. Previously, Indonesia did not have a law that prevented such transactions. This new law is regarded as a good step for the battle against terrorism.

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  • Continued Emergence of Scandals Undermines Trust in Indonesian Politics

    Today, most Indonesian newspapers opened with negative headlines concerning the country's political arena. In Indonesian politics, scandals - whether connected to corruption or other issues - are frequently reported and seriously undermine people's (both domestic and foreign) confidence in the nation's governance. In today's newspapers, three cases were center of attention and illustrate the problems within Indonesia's political elite.

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Latest Columns Politics

  • 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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  • Politics Indonesia: Arcandra Tahar & Ignasius Jonan Back in Cabinet

    Politics Indonesia: Arcandra Tahar & Ignasius Jonan Back

    On Friday (14/10) Indonesian President Joko Widodo appointed Ignasius Jonan as Indonesia's new Energy and Mineral Resources Minister. Jonan is the nation's former Transportation Minister who was replaced by Budi Karya Sumadi in a cabinet reshuffle in late July 2016. Meanwhile, the position of Energy and Mineral Resources Minister had been empty (although for the time being filled by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan) after the dismissal of Arcandra Tahar in mid-August 2016.

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  • Economic Update Indonesia: What about Economic Growth in 2015?

    Although Indonesia’s economic growth slowed further in 2014, there is optimism that growth will accelerate in 2015 despite sluggish global economic conditions (curbing Indonesia’s export performance) and Bank Indonesia’s relatively high interest rate environment. Indonesia’s central bank has raised its BI rate several times over the past one and a half years in an effort to combat high inflation (caused by fuel price hikes), curb capital outflows ahead of US monetary tightening, limit the current account deficit and support the rupiah.

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  • History of Indonesia: Politics and the Economy under Sukarno

    History of Indonesia: Politics and the Economy under Sukarno

    By the mid-1960s, politics and the economy of Indonesia had turned into disaster. After Independence in 1945 (and the cessation of hostilities with the Dutch in 1949), the young nation was plagued by hostile internal politics in which several political forces - consisting of the army, nationalists, Muslims, and communists - opposed each other. For over a decade, Sukarno, Indonesia’s first president, had reasonable success in keeping these forces in check by the force of his own personality. However, by the mid-1960s his failure became evident.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Strengthen on Politics and Fuel Price Hike

    Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Strengthen on Politics and Fuel Price Hike

    Indonesian stocks and the rupiah have rebounded on Friday due to several internal and external factors. During the first trading session on Friday (17/10), the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, or IHSG) surged 0.94 percent to 4,998.14 points. Meanwhile, based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate had appreciated 0.26 percent to IDR 12,228 per US dollar by 12:30 pm local Jakarta time. Why do Indonesian stocks and the rupiah perform well on Friday?

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  • Moody’s Investors Service Positive about Indonesia’s Economy

    Moody’s Investors Service Positive about Indonesia’s Economy

    Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service stated that it maintains a stable outlook for Indonesia’s sovereign and corporate debt rating in the next quarters due to the country’s healthy credit fundamentals, solid macroeconomy, and reduced political tensions. Moody’s believes that Indonesia’s fundamentals are strong enough to offset the negative impact of external pressures such as looming higher US interest rates and slowing economic growth in China. Moody’s had raised Indonesia’s sovereign debt rating to investment grade in late 2011.

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