Saturday 11 July 2020 ,
Saturday 11 July 2020 ,
Latest News
  • Coronavirus: Bangladesh reports 30 more deaths, 2,686 new cases
  • Coronavirus: Bangladesh reports 30 more deaths, 2,686 new cases
  • Rural economy going to be under pressure with returnees from cities: Experts
  • Global coronavirus cases top 12 million: JHU
  • BGB officially protests against Anandabazar report
  • Russia likely to have 3-4 coronavirus vaccines, says its health minister
  • Covid-19: Bangladesh reports 37 more deaths, 2,949 new cases
  • Global aid to education likely to fall: UNESCO
  • WHO urges aggressive virus measures as flare-ups spark new closures
  • Coronavirus Hotline Numbers: 01944333222, 16263, 333; website: www.corona.gov.bd
19 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Print

Indonesia votes: Why the world should pay more attention

Carol Rollie Flynn

While the elections in India and Israel have grabbed recent headlines in the West, the upcoming vote in Indonesia—a country with vast natural resources, critical geo-political importance, and the fourth largest population in the world (including the largest number of Muslims)—has gone almost unnoticed. This is less a snub, perhaps, than an indication of how far Indonesia’s democracy has come. For its first half century after declaring independence from the Dutch, two decidedly undemocratic strongmen, Presidents Sukarno and Suharto, dominated the country and its politics. With the fall of Suharto’s “New Order” government in 1998, however, Indonesia held its first democratic election in 1999 and, while not without internal challenges, the country remains one of the most democratic in Southeast Asia. The upcoming election might thus be seen as not particularly newsworthy. But given the challenges posed by the election, the distinct differences between the two main candidates for president, and its importance to U.S. interests in Southeast Asia and its neighbors, this political event merits more attention

Described as the most complex single-day election in history, on April 17, Indonesia’s 190 million eligible voters will cast ballots in an election with more than 240,000 candidates, representing 16 political parties, competing for seats in both national and local legislative bodies. The government has hired some six million temporary election workers who will staff over 800,000 polling stations scattered across Indonesia’s 17,000+ islands. Moreover, unlike the upcoming Indian elections which will be spread over five weeks, Indonesia will have just one day of balloting.

The election features a rematch of the 2014 contest between current President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, and former Lieutenant General Prabowo Subianto, a charismatic businessman with authoritarian tendencies. Widodo ran on a reformist platform in 2014 and promised seven percent economic growth by the end of his first term, but his actual record has not matched his 2014 campaign rhetoric. Recent extrajudicial violence associated with his government’s anti-narcotics campaign has also tarnished the president’s image.

The latest polls nonetheless show Widodo running well ahead of his opponent, despite the lackluster performance of the Indonesian economy, the growth rate of which is holding steady at around five percent. Some of this shortfall is due to Widodo’s political calculations, opting for short-term popularity rather than long-term growth. For example, in 2014, Widodo campaigned on attracting more foreign investment. While he nominally relaxed some of Indonesia’s onerous limitations on foreign ownership, he has not gone very far (Indonesia still has the third most restrictive foreign investment regime in the world), preferring instead to tout economic nationalism that plays well among voters but continues to alienate potential international investors. Similarly, Widodo had promised a $323 billion overhaul of Indonesia’s transportation and energy infrastructure to be financed by reducing energy subsidies; instead, he opted for the popular move of increasing energy subsidies by 69% and the infrastructure overhaul has slowed.

 Eurasia Review

 

Comments

More Editorial stories
Investment in RMG promotes export The phenomenal economic rise of Bangladesh from a war-torn, privation filled nation has been due to the development of the RMG (Ready Made Garment Sector). In the last 20 years, the RMG sector’s…

Copyright © All right reserved.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
....................................................
About Us
....................................................
Contact Us
....................................................
Advertisement
....................................................
Subscription

Powered by : Frog Hosting