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Today's Headlines Politics

  • Strong Performance Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah on Friday

    Indonesian stocks and the rupiah exchange rate strengthened considerably on Friday (17/10) due to speculation that president-elect Joko Widodo will raise prices of subsidized fuels soon after his inauguration as Indonesia’s seventh President on Monday 20 October 2014. Furthermore, a meeting between Widodo and powerful opposition leader Prabowo Subianto on Friday morning also managed to ease concerns about political stability in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. Lastly, rising indices on Wall Street added positive market sentiments.

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  • Joko Widodo Meets Prabowo Subianto, Indonesia’s Political Tensions to Ease?

    Political uncertainties in Indonesia brought on by the rivalry between president-elect Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) and defeated candidate Prabowo Subianto may have eased somewhat as both men met on Friday morning (17/10) in Jakarta. After the meeting Subianto stated that he fully supports the Jokowi-led government, while Jokowi stated that he is open to receive criticism from opposition in the House of Representatives (DPR). Jokowi will be inaugurated on 20 October 2014 as Indonesia’s seventh president.

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  • JP Morgan and Standard & Poor’s about Indonesia’s Equity Market

    Executive director of equity research at JP Morgan Securities Indonesia Aditya Srinath painted a positive picture about the equity market in Indonesia despite the lingering risks emerging from domestic political instability and looming capital outflows due to higher US interest rates in the second quarter of 2015. Srinath stated that Indonesia’s economic resilience so far as well as falling domestic interest rates among Indonesian financial institutions are positive signs for the equity market.

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  • Indonesia Political Update: Prabowo Controls Majority in MPR

    After a long plenary session of the People’s Consultative Assembly (or MPR), Zulkifli Hasan has been elected as the Speaker of the MPR for the period 2014-2019. Zulkifli Hasan, a former Indonesian Forestry Minister, is backed by the Merah-Putih coalition and thus his election constitutes another blow for president-elect Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi). The Merah-Putih coalition is a coalition of six political parties that support vindictive defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto.

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  • Yudhoyono to Issue Presidential Decree to Block Regional Elections Law

    Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced to issue a presidential decree to override parliament’s approval of the controversial regional elections law. This new bill passed the House of Representatives (DPR) on Friday last week. Immediately institutions and people objected to the bill - which abolishes direct elections for regional leaders (leaving it to regional legislatures to elect mayors, district heads and governors) - as it is considered a step back for the country’s young democracy and reduces transparency.

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  • Update Indonesia’s Regional Election Law: SBY Has ‘Plan B’

    Incumbent Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) announced on Tuesday (30/09) that he prepares a plan to undermine the new bill - accepted by Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) - that blocks direct elections for regional leaders (leaving it to regional legislatures to elect mayors, district heads and governors). Many institutions and people have objected against the new bill as it is regarded a setback for the democratization process in Indonesia. SBY also immediately expressed its concern about the passing of the new bill.

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  • Economy of Indonesia: Regional Election Bill and US Economic Data

    The most controversial and heatedly debated news story from Indonesia in the past week was parliament’s approval of a new bill that puts an end to direct voting in the regions. This means that it are not the people but instead the regional legislatures that will elect mayors, district heads and governors. Critics say this is a major setback for the democracy process of Indonesia and will make local elections prone to corruption, collusion and nepotism as Indonesia’s legislatures - both at the national and regional level - are believed to be corrupted to a high degree.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Weaken on New Bill and Wall Street Fall

    Indonesian stocks and rupiah exchange rate weakened considerably on Friday (26/09) after Indonesian parliament approved a new bill that puts an end to direct local elections. Moreover, market sentiments were negative after stocks on Wall Street plunged on Thursday because of increasing concern about the global economy as well as consumers’ problems with Apple's latest software updates and new product launches (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus) resulting in a 3.8 percent slide of Apple shares.

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  • Democracy in Indonesia: Parliament Passes Bill to End Direct Local Voting

    Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) passed a controversial bill in the early morning of Friday (26/09) that is widely criticized by media and analysts. After a walk out of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party (the largest party in parliament having 148 out of 560 seats) in the plenary session, parliament agreed that direct voting in the regions will be scrapped, thus leaving it to the regional legislatures to elect mayors, district heads and governors. Critics say this bill is a setback for democracy.

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  • Indonesia under Jokowi’s Cabinet: Technocrats vs Party Politicians

    Indonesia’s seventh president Joko Widodo (better known as Jokowi), who will take office in late October 2014 thereby replacing incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), said that during the next five years the Indonesian government will consist of 34 ministries of which 18 are headed by technocrats and 16 by “professional” party politicians. This structure is basically the same as that of the current SBY-led government. In modern Indonesian history the distinction between technocrats and party politicians has been an important one.

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Latest Columns Politics

  • Political & Economic Update Indonesia - Closing A Remarkable Year

    Political & Economic Update Indonesia - Closing A Remarkable Year

    Another year has passed, and therefore we would like to wish all of our subscribers a happy, healthy, and successful 2021! The transition to a brand new year is also typically a great occasion to look back at the year that has passed and look forward to the one that has arrived (and some may even have made a couple of New Year’s resolutions in an attempt to achieve a certain goal or change a bad habit).

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  • Rising Concerns Over Whether Bank Indonesia Remains Independent from the Government

    Rising Concerns Over Whether Bank Indonesia Remains Independent from the Government

    In September 2020 concern arose over whether the House of Representatives (DPR) is trying to undermine the country’s central bank (Bank Indonesia)’s independence (from the government). The DPR’s legislation body came with a bill (a draft revision of the Bank Indonesia Law) that contains a number of controversial articles, making analysts concerned about the quality of future monetary policymaking in Indonesia.

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  • Indonesia Investments' July 2020 Report; A Modest Rebound

    Indonesia Investments' July 2020 Report; A Modest Rebound

    It is becoming clearer by the day that economic growth in Indonesia, in 2020, will be derailed enormously. Analysts and authoritative institutions (both international and domestic ones) have, again, cut their forecasts for Indonesia’s economic growth in Q2-2020 (decisions that obviously also have consequences for Indonesia’s full-year 2020 economic growth outlooks).

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  • Indonesian Politics & Economy: Looking Back on 2019, Looking Forward to 2020

    Indonesian Politics & Economy: Looking Back on 2019, Looking Forward to 2020

    What marked the year 2019 for Indonesia was national politics. Although in these present times each year feels like a ‘political year’ for Indonesia – as the country’s local elections are spread out across years (and in 2020 it will be the turn of voters in various parts of the Archipelago to elect nine governors, 224 regents and 37 mayors) – the year 2019 was in fact a particularly ‘huge political year’ for Indonesia because of the (general) presidential and legislative elections that were held on 17 April 2019.

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  • New Cabinet Takes Office; Last-Minute Surprise Gives Widodo Majority in Parliament

    New Cabinet Takes Office; Last-Minute Surprise Gives Widodo Majority in Parliament

    Although the signs were there in the past couple of weeks, it still came as a surprise to us that defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto made the last-minute decision to throw his support behind Indonesian President Joko Widodo. It effectively means that his Great Indonesia Movement party (or Gerindra) – previously the biggest opposition party – has now joined Widodo’s coalition, and thereby handing Widodo a massive majority in national parliament.

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  • Public Opinion and the Political Economy of Growth Deceleration

    Public Opinion and the Political Economy of Growth Deceleration; Realities of Adverse Exposure in a Time of Adversity

    Given a variety of recent events, Indonesia has seemingly entered a liminal phase in its development trajectory, suggesting that its economic vulnerability will be tested in new ways. The present circumstances should be understood as a particular test for the ability of policy initiatives to temper the effects of perturbing exogenous factors and demand shocks to the overall economy.

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  • Overview of Widodo Administration (2014-2019); Accomplishments and Failures

    Overview of the Widodo Administration (2014-2019); What Are the Accomplishments and Failures?

    There was a new kid on the block in national politics ahead of Indonesia's 2014 elections. Joko Widodo (often called Jokowi), gained tremendous popularity among Indonesians when he was Governor of Jakarta (2012-2014). This popularity was based on his humble background as well as his humble behavior, his eagerness to reform existing structures and patterns, and his “pro-people” attitude. Previously, Widodo (who is an ex-furniture businessman) had been mayor of Solo (Central Java) from 2005 to 2012. His time as mayor was a success. However, he would really step into the national spotlight once he had won Jakarta’s gubernatorial election in 2012.

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