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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

  • Performance of the Indonesian Rupiah & Stocks in the Past Week

    Performance of the Indonesian Rupiah & Stocks in the Past Week

    Amid political uncertainty and a looming increase in US interest rates, Indonesian stocks and the rupiah exchange rate weakened considerably in the past week. Market participants are increasingly concerned about the situation in Indonesia’s parliament where a majority of political parties - named the Merah-Putih coalition (led by defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto) - is expected to undermine president-elect Joko Widodo’s reform programs as well as the democratic foundations of the country.

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  • Stock Market Update Indonesia: Down on Politics and Global Data

    Indonesian stocks plunged considerably on Thursday (02/10). The country’s benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) declined 2.73 percent to 5,000.81 points, the largest drop in almost six months. This poor performance was caused by both external and internal factors. Externally, various weak economic data from the USA and Europe as well as an appreciating yen impacted negatively on Asian stock indices. Internally, market participants responded negatively toward the inauguration of the new parliament.

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  • Battle Jokowi-Prabowo; Democratic Future of Indonesia in Jeopardy?

    Battle Jokowi-Prabowo; Democratic Future of Indonesia in Jeopardy?

    More and more concerns have arisen recently regarding the democratic future of Indonesia. In fact, some media have reported that an impeachment of president-elect Joko Widodo, who will assume office on 20 October 2014, could become a reality as opposition in parliament - led by controversial and vindictive former army general Prabowo Subianto - is large. The Merah-Putih coalition, referring to the coalition of political parties that supported Subianto in the presidential election (which he narrowly lost to Widodo) will control 353 of the 560 seats in parliament.

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  • Prabowo Subianto Coalition Accepts Indonesia’s Constitutional Court Verdict

    It took almost six hours for the Constitutional Court of Indonesia (Mahkamah Konstitusi) on Thursday (21/08) to read out 300 pages of a lengthy 4,392-page verdict in the case filed by defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, who claimed that the result of Indonesia’s July 2014 presidential election was invalid due to widespread violations and fraud that allegedly occurred during the voting and counting processes. During the read out it became increasingly clear that the court would reject Subianto’s claims due to a lack of evidence.

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  • Constitutional Court Ruling: Prabowo Subianto Not Expected to Accept Defeat

    Constitutional Court Ruling: Prabowo Subianto Not Expected to Accept Defeat

    At 14:00 pm local Jakarta time zone, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) is expected to announce its decision on Prabowo Subianto’s election result challenge. The defeated presidential candidate filed a court case claiming that massive fraud and violations took place amid the voting and counting processes in the context of Indonesia’s July 2014 presidential election, won by Joko Widodo (securing 53.15 percent of the votes). Although the court’s decision is final and legally binding, Subianto not expected to surrender yet.

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  • Elections Signals Big Questions on Indonesia's Future Democracy

    Elections Signals Big Questions on Indonesia's Future Democracy

    Recent elections in Indonesia have met with a great deal of attention and look to be a decisive moment for the country. We are looking at a country that has major financial problems and also is making a decision about the direction of its democracy. Prabowo Subianto has pledged to conduct a rollback in some of the aspects of Indonesia’s democracy. So the supporters of Indonesian democracy will be watching very closely to see how the recent election events will unfold.

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  • Quick Count Results Indonesian Election Mostly in Favour of Jokowi

    Quick Count Results Indonesian Election Mostly in Favour of Jokowi

    As had been predicted previously by various popularity surveys, the outcome of the Indonesian presidential election, a race between Joko Widodo (known as Jokowi) and Prabowo Subianto, was close. In fact, after the unofficial yet reliable quick count results had been collected, both camps claimed a victory. However, the majority of the quick count results show a Jokowi victory with a margin of about five to six percentage points. On 22 July 2014, the Indonesian General Elections Commission (KPU) will announce the official result.

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  • Why Are Foreign Investors Concerned about a Prabowo Subianto Win?

    Why Are Foreign Investors Concerned about a Prabowo Subianto Win?

    The result of Indonesia’s presidential election (scheduled for 9 July 2014), which has become a tight race between Prabowo Subianto and Joko Widodo (Jokowi), will for sure have a large impact on foreign investors’ confidence in Indonesian politics and the economy. A few weeks ago, a survey of Deutsche Bank showed that a majority of respondents (consisting of foreign investors) intend to sell their Indonesian assets if controversial candidate Prabowo Subianto will be elected. What are foreigners’ perceptions of a Subianto win?

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  • Presidential Election Indonesia 2014: 2nd Television Debate Jokowi-Prabowo

    Presidential Election Indonesia 2014: 2nd Television Debate Jokowi-Prabowo

    Sunday evening (15/06), the second debate between Indonesia’s two presidential candidates - Prabowo Subianto and Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo - was held. This debate was broadcast live on various Indonesian television stations and - once again - managed to become a trending topic on social media. The debate, the theme of which was ‘development of the economy and social welfare‘, was characterized by a nationalistic and protectionist tone. This tone had already been set by Subianto in the past weeks but now Jokowi also stressed protectionism.

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  • Indonesia Presidential Election: Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo vs Prabowo Subianto

    Indonesia Presidential Election: Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo Versus Prabowo Subianto

    It had been speculated for a while, but yesterday the official declaration of Indonesia's presidential candidates and their running mates (the vice-presidential candidates) were presented. In the upcoming election, scheduled for 9 July 2014, Jakarta Governor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo will face Prabowo Subianto, former army general and former son-in-law to president Suharto (Indonesia's second president), in a battle for the country's presidential seat. What is there to tell about this battle?

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