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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

  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate and Stocks Gain Ground on Friday

    The week ended well for both the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate and the benchmark Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah appreciated 0.30 percent to IDR 11,413 per US dollar at the end of Friday's trading day (16/05). Meanwhile, the IHSG surged 0.80 percent to finish just above the psychological level of 5,000 points. The good performance was supported by investors' positive response towards the latest political developments in Indonesia.

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  • Indonesian Politics: the Presidential Candidates' Running Mates

    Indonesian Politics: Who are the Presidential Candidates' Running Mates?

    Joko Widodo, the presidential candidate of the PDI-P (Indonesia's current largest opposition party and which won the 2014 legislative election last April) may announce his running mate (the vice presidential candidate) on Wednesday (14/05). Newsportal Bisnis.com reported that Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, hinted at this during a brief conversation between Jokowi and journalists on Monday. Names that are frequently mentioned in connection to the position of running mate of Jokowi are Jusuf Kalla and Abraham Samad.

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  • Preliminary Analysis Parliamentary Election Result in Indonesia

    A Preliminary Analysis of the Parliamentary Election Result in Indonesia

    Although several quick counts of today's legislative election in Indonesia still continue, the big picture is clear. The current opposition party PDI-P will win Indonesia's 2014 parliamentary election, followed by Golkar and Gerindra. This is no surprise as most surveys that were released ahead of the election indicated that these three political parties would be the major contenders. As a whole, the election went relatively smoothly, with only a few minor incidents. The official result will be announced on 9 May 2014.

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  • Parliamentary Election in Indonesia; Overview of Popular Political Parties

    Parliamentary Election in Indonesia; Overview of Popular Political Parties

    On Wednesday 9 April 2014, the Indonesian electorate (consisting of about 190 million people out of a total population of around 250 million) will vote for both the country's national and regional legislatures. This legislative election also bears a big influence on the presidential election that is scheduled for 9 July 2014 as a minimum of 25 percent of the popular vote in the legislative election (or 20 percent of seats in the House of Representatives, DPR) gives a party the authority to nominate a presidential candidate.

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  • The Jokowi Effect: Indonesia's Financial Markets Gain on Political Certainty

    A shock wave went through Indonesia's financial markets on Friday (14/03) after 15:00 local Jakarta time, when it became known that Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) is joining the presidential race for the July 2014 election. Moreover, he can count on full support from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), one of Indonesia's largest political parties, led by chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri. Few people doubt that Jokowi - current Governor of Jakarta - will be elected as the next president of Indonesia.

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  • Jokowi Candidate for Indonesian Presidency; Markets React Positively

    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

    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?

    Can Joko Widodo Accelerate the Process of Democratization 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

    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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