Images of rioting by supporters of defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto in Jakarta have been beamed around the world this week, tainting what was otherwise a free, fair and peaceful election in the world’s third biggest democracy.
At least eight people were reported killed and
Indonesia’s national leaders and politicians have mostly paid more attention to domestic issues for the country’s upcoming general elections compared to regional and global challenges. Yet after the voters cast their ballots on Wednesday, whomever is elected president, vice president and the
As Indonesians go to the polls on Wednesday, questions have arisen around the business interests of the man who could be their next vice president.
The youngest among the presidential and vice-presidential candidates, charismatic political newcomer Sandiaga “Sandi” Uno has undoubtedly injected
In January, during Indonesia’s first presidential debate in the lead up to the Indonesian election next week on 17 April, Indonesian president, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo proclaimed that he and his running mate, Ma’ruf Amin “do not have a track record of human rights violations.” Jokowi’s
With a week left until Indonesia’s presidential election, polls are tightening and huge mass rallies show the 193 million voters keen to have their say. For incumbent Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, his not-so-hidden strength has been his three-year-old grandson, Jan Ethes.
How can we address the profound gender disparity that afflicts the vast majority of the world’s parliaments?
Fewer than 10 countries are close to parity between men and women in their main national legislative chamber and only 3 – Bolivia, Cuba, and Rwanda – have more women parliamentarians
Indonesia’s second presidential debate might be a source of amusement for many Indonesian voters, thanks to the colourful exchange between the incumbent Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and the contender Prabowo Subianto. Analyses, fact-checks, and memes referring to and criticising the candidates’ debating
With the slick presenters, questions pulled out of a fishbowl, and baritone voice-overs, the casual viewer might have thought this was a game show rather than a political battle to lead a nation of more than 260 million people.
It is true that the content can be lightweight and the format is
Last week's gubernatorial election in Jakarta saw Governor Basuki Tjahja Purnama, better known by the sobriquet ‘Ahok’, dumped from office in favour of Islamic intellectual Anies Baswedan. The campaign became heavily polarised along religious and racial lines after Ahok was accused of
It's hard to believe that just four months after President Jokowi swept to power on a wave of disillusionment with Indonesia's politics, his predecessor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is now openly displaying schadenfreude.
President Jokowi's disastrous handling of the appointment of a new police
As Catriona Croft-Cusworth’s commentary and photos showed, there is a celebratory mood in Jakarta this week with the inauguration of Jokowi as Indonesia’s new president. In the spirit of reconciliation, Jokowi’s defeated opponent Prabowo Subianto even showed up for the ceremony.
The inauguration speech of Indonesia's 7th President, Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, was powerful despite its brevity, or perhaps because of it. It contained a striking blend of personal humility, national pride and an ethos of unremitting work. But as an analyst of Asian geopolitics, I was most struck by
With the passing of the presidential baton from Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to Joko Widodo just a month away, Indonesia is at a political crossroad, with the first clear break from the politicians who were part of the Soeharto years. Monday's Indonesia mini-update at the Lowy Institute, a half-day
As jockeying intensifies for ministerial appointments in President-elect Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's new cabinet, divisions and dissatisfaction within Indonesia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs have played out in a very public fashion.
In a riveting if unedifying spectacle, Indonesia's press has carried
Police and students during the 1998 Jakarta riots. (Wikipedia.)
Twice in the past two months the spectre of the 1998 riots in Jakarta has been raised, and twice it has been dispelled by the Indonesian capital's refusal to return to a state of fear and violence.
No one seriously expected '98-level
While Indonesia's losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto is still busy challenging last month's election results at the Constitutional Court, president-elect Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, has already laid ground rules for how he wishes to arrange his cabinet. The court is due to
'Fight corruption!' A Corruption Eradication Commission event in Bandung in 2009. (Flickr/Ikhlasul Amal.)
Indonesia's reputation for corruption in not in doubt: it comes 114th out of 177 in Transparency International's ranking. For more than a decade, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK)
Indonesia's General Elections Commission (KPU) is tomorrow likely to confirm a victory by Joko ('Jokowi') Widodo over presidential rival Prabowo Subianto by a margin of somewhere between 4% and 6.88%. While supporters of Indonesian democracy collectively hold their breath in anticipation of a
There is a joke going around Jakarta this week that Indonesia currently has three presidents: incumbent Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the two presidential candidates Prabowo Subianto and Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, who both claimed victory after last week's election. Official results from the presidential
Across Indonesia, up to 190 million voters went to the polls yesteraday to choose their next president. In Jakarta the faces of the two candidates, Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, had mostly disappeared from advertisements in public spaces under an enforced cooling off period, appearing
Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo, best known as Jokowi, has won the race to become the next president of Indonesia. His rival Prabowo Subianto has refused to concede, however, setting up a showdown over the results that could last until late August.
We know Jokowi won because a collection of
At a presidential debate screening in Jakarta on Saturday night, checkered shirts dominated the wardrobe of the crowded cafe. While supporters of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto had asserted a strong presence at previous screenings in the same venue, this time support had clearly turned in
For much of this year, Prabowo Subianto has run for president of Indonesia by delivering charismatic polemics on the campaign trail against local corruption and foreign exploitation. In a country where the people are desperate for a president who will speak out forcefully against corruption, and
With Indonesia's presidential election to be held next Wednesday (9 July), we thought we'd depart from our normal weekend catch-up to highlight some of the first rate Indonesia election coverage we've featured on The Interpreter.
Back in September 2013 Stephen Grenville commented on the possibility
With two weeks to go until Indonesia chooses its next president, mainstream and online media are flooded with political messages. Mainstream media has given up any pretense of nonpartisanship, while social media has become a battleground of slogans and symbols. But even for those who choose to
The Interpreter has been flooded with traffic since we published Aaron Connelly's analysis of the Indonesian presidential race on Tuesday afternoon.
Aaron said Prabowo Subianto was now favourite to win the Indonesian presidential election, an unthinkable prospect just a month ago in the race
On Sunday night, Indonesia's rival presidential candidates, Prabowo Subianto and Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, held their third televised debate ahead of the 9 July election, this time with the theme 'International Politics and National Defence'. In a wide-ranging discussion of regional concerns and
Both Indonesian presidential candidates have taken a strongly nationalistic stance on foreign investment in their pre-election campaigning. When one of them takes office in October, will they be 'mugged by reality' and soften their stance? If not, how much does it matter?
When Indonesia achieved
It's become something of a cliche to talk about Indonesia's love affair with social media. Internet users still only make up about 15% of the population (according to World Bank estimates from 2013), but that's still a good 38 million people tweeting, shopping and posting pictures of their cats. It'
With the Indonesian presidential race now reduced to two candidates, their economic programs are coming into sharper focus. The prospect is not reassuring.
Both Joko Widodo ('Jokowi') and Prabowo Subianto promise to be more dirigiste and inward looking. Jokowi, in particular, talks in terms of
Prime Minister Tony Abbott threw away his 'get out of jail free' card when he decided not to accept an invitation earlier this month to meet Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) in Bali. This was a lost opportunity for the Australian PM. The Indonesian president was seeking a face-
After weeks of private meetings and public handshakes, Indonesia's major political parties have finally picked sides for the presidential election scheduled for 9 July. The election is set to be a face-off between Prabowo Subianto (pictured), a former special forces commander and once son-in-law
It's been two months since Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo officially announced he was entering Indonesia's presidential race, and here on The Interpreter, Peter McCawley immediately responded with 'yes, but what does he stand for?'
Until now, the man presumed to take the presidency has remained relatively
Video-sharing website Vimeo became the latest casualty of Indonesia's Anti-Pornography Law this week, joining Reddit and Imgur on the country's list of blocked sites. Information and Communications Minister Tifatul Sembiring announced the ban on Monday, saying that 'negative or pornographic
On Tuesday evening, billionaire businessman Aburizal Bakrie visited Pasar Gembrong, a cramped traditional market in Central Jakarta. He was there to show his support for Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo to become the next president of Indonesia.
The governor, better known as Jokowi, had arrived earlier
Voting for India's Lok Sabha (lower house) elections kicked off on Monday. In place of my regular India Links, here is the best election-related reading of the week:
The Economist published a strongly worded editorial last week, which stated that 'this newspaper cannot bring itself to back Mr Modi
In Indonesia, about 180 million eligible voters were welcomed to the polls today to elect representatives in the district, provincial and national legislatures. Polling booths were housed in schools, community centres and on residential streets. In South Jakarta, police and military personnel were
This is the third in a four-part series on Indonesia's growing middle class. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.
In Indonesia, the word for 'vote' is the same as the word for 'voice'. The urban middle class is vocal on Twitter but said to be apathetic at the ballot box, until the right candidate