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Today's Headlines Politics

  • 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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  • Indonesian Constitutional Court Rejects Prabowo Subianto’s Election Challenge

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

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  • Ruling in Prabowo Subianto’s Court Case Expected on Thursday

    The security status in Jakarta has been raised one day ahead of the ruling of Indonesia’s Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi) on Thursday (21/08) as the Jakarta administration anticipates public protests. The Constitutional Court will decide on defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto’s claims that the election result of Indonesia’s July presidential election was influenced by massive fraud and violations (in both the voting and counting process). According to the official result Joko Widodo won with 53.15 percent of the votes.

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  • Joko Widodo Aims to Cut Indonesia’s Expensive Energy Subsidies

    Soon-to-be president of Indonesia Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) stated that he intends to cut the large fuel and electricity subsidies once in office. Indonesia’s Revised State Budget of 2015 (RAPBN 2015) allocates IDR 363.5 trillion (about USD $31.2 billion) to energy subsidies. This figure accounts for about 18 percent of total government spending (IDR 2,019.9 trillion) set for 2015. Although the energy subsidies aim to support the poorer segments of Indonesian society, they cause complex problems in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.  

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  • Joko Widodo ‘Jokowi’ Officially Wins Indonesia’s Presidential Election

    On Tuesday evening (22/07), the General Elections Commission (KPU) officially declared Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, the winner of the 2014 presidential election. Jokowi beat Prabowo Subianto, a controversial former army general, by 53.15 to 46.85 percent. Subianto did not witness the announcement. Several hours earlier, when news started to spread about a Jokowi win, Subianto announced to withdraw from the vote-counting process. He will challenge the result in the country's Constitutional Court (the ruling is expected in late August).

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  • Indonesia's Presidential Election Result: Prabowo Subianto or Joko Widodo?

    With only one more day to go before the General Elections Commission (KPU) will release the official result of the July 2014 presidential election, it seems almost certain that it will take a Constitutional Court ruling for the final judgement. Over the weekend, data from KPU indicates that Joko Widodo has won the election by a margin of about five percentage points. However, his rival Prabowo Subianto has already stated that he will challenge the result as he claims that there are indications of fraud at several polling stations.

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  • Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Prabowo Subianto & Joko Widodo Will Meet

    Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Prabowo Subianto & Jokowi Will Meet

    Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who will end his second and final five-year term in October 2014, announced to meet both presidential candidates (Prabowo Subianto and Joko Widodo) in the country’s State Palace on Sunday (20/07). In this meeting, president Yudhoyono will emphasize the importance of a peaceful and orderly transition to the next government. Currently, it remains unknown who of the two candidates won the presidential election (held on 9 July 2014). Due to the tight race, chances of social unrest increase.

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  • Investors Awaiting Indonesian Election Result: Latest Political Developments

    Investors Waiting for Indonesian Election Result: Latest Political Developments

    Although investors in Indonesian stocks received positive news from the USA after Federal Reserve Head Janet Yellen stated on Tuesday (15/07) that the US economic recovery remains incomplete therefore justifying the continuation of a loose monetary policy for the foreseeable future as well as solid economic expansion of 7.5 percent (yoy) in China during the second quarter of 2014, the domestic political context in Southeast Asia’s largest economy remains a concern. What are the latest political developments in Indonesia?

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  • News Update Indonesian Presidential Election: Prabowo vs Jokowi

    News Update Indonesian Presidential Election: Prabowo vs Jokowi

    Since 07:00 am local time, Indonesians have been able to cast their votes for the country’s presidential election; a tight race between Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto. Despite the narrow gap between both presidential candidates (based on various surveys), the election has been conducted in good order so far. The polling stations will close at 13:00 pm local time. Hereafter, live quick count scores, which are traditionally quite accurate, will be presented. By approximately 17:00 pm local time, the quick counts are expected to be finalized.

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Latest Columns Politics

  • 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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  • 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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