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Today's Headlines Politics

  • Politics Indonesia: Joko Widodo to Decide for another Cabinet Reshuffle?

    Politics Indonesia: Joko Widodo to Decide for another Cabinet Reshuffle?

    There has been rising speculation in Indonesia in recent months that Indonesian President Joko Widodo will decide for another cabinet reshuffle as several ministers are held responsible for the disappointing performance of their ministries (that have reacted too slow to implement new government guidelines, for example those guidelines set in the series of economic policy packages that have been released since September 2015). On 12 August 2015, Widodo had already reshuffled his cabinet, replacing six ministers.

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  • Regional Elections in Indonesia: Indonesia Votes for Local Leaders

    Regional Elections in Indonesia: Indonesia Votes for Local Leaders

    Today (09/12) millions of Indonesians head to the ballot boxes to vote for new regional leaders i.e. nine provincial governors, 36 mayors, and 224 district heads. These elections are important as the process of decentralization in the post-Suharto era has transferred considerable authority and power to the regions. As such, the regions now have a larger role and greater responsibility regarding economic development. Around 100 million people are eligible to cast a vote in the world's third-largest democracy. Today, 9 December 2015, has been declared a public national holiday.

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  • Politics of Indonesia: House Approves 2016 State Budget

    Politics of Indonesia: House Approves 2016 State Budget

    Late on Friday evening (30/10), after 11 hours of discussion, Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) approved the 2016 State Budget. This is good news for the government as it now has the opportunity to reform fiscal policy and continue with its development programs. The government budget deficit is expected to rise to 2.15 percent of the country's gross domestic product (from 1.9 percent of GDP in the revised 2015 edition), a bit closer to the maximum three-percent-of-GDP rule that is allowed by Indonesian law.

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  • Joko Widodo Presents Indonesia’s 2016 State Budget Draft in Parliament

    Joko Widodo Presents Indonesia’s 2016 State Budget Draft in Parliament

    On Friday (14/08) the Indonesian government unveiled its 2016 State Budget draft at a session in the House of Representatives (DPR). The draft is important as it shows government targets regarding the macroeconomy of Indonesia and it shows on what fields the government will focus in terms of public spending. The government - led by Indonesian President Joko Widodo - is optimistic that economic growth will finally rebound after four years of slowing economic growth as its 2016 GDP growth target was set at 5.5 percent (y/y).

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  • Political News Indonesia: Joko Widodo Reshuffles Cabinet

    Political News Indonesia: Joko Widodo Reshuffles Cabinet

    Nearly one year after inauguration, Indonesian President Joko Widodo reshuffled his cabinet on Wednesday (12/08) due to the perceived disappointing performance of several ministers as Indonesia’s economy has continued to slow in 2015. Widodo installed six new ministers in a ceremony at the State Palace in Jakarta. The reshuffle aims to boost investors’ confidence in Indonesian assets. Today, the rupiah and Indonesian stocks are weakening severely due to China’s decision to devalue its yuan.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Down on China’s Yuan Devaluation

    Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Down on China’s Yuan Devaluation

    Indonesian stocks are experiencing a remarkable fall on Tuesday (11/08). In the first trading session, the benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index) plunged 2.15 percent to 4,646.95, its lowest level since early March 2014 and leading declines among Southeast Asian stock indices. Stocks in Asia have been hit by China’s decision to allow its currency to weaken against the US dollar (the yuan fell 1.6 percent against the US dollar after the move dragging down other Asian currencies including the Indonesian rupiah).

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  • Will Indonesia Ban Consumption & Distribution of Alcohol?

    Will Indonesia Ban Consumption & Distribution of Alcohol?

    After having banned the sale of alcoholic drinks in minimarkets, Indonesia may see the birth of another law concerning alcohol. Several secular and Islamic political parties seem to back a bill prohibiting the sale, production, distribution and consumption of drinks that contain over 1 percent alcohol. This bill is among the 37 so-called priority bills expected to be passed this year. Although the new bill had been first proposed in 2012 by two Islamic parties - National Development Party (PPP) and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) - it had laid on the shelf.

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  • Political Update: Pact Awesome Indonesia & Red-White Coalitions

    Tensions within Indonesian parliament may have eased after the two opposing coalitions signed a limited power-sharing pact on Monday (17/11) after weeks of negotiations. This pact is expected to reinforce investor confidence in Indonesian politics amid improved political certainty. Previously, parliament was divided into two rival coalitions: the Awesome Indonesia Coalition (Koalisi Indonesia Hebat), which backs Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and the Red-White Coalition (Koalisi Merah-Putih), which is led by Prabowo Subianto.

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  • '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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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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