A Jokowi Presidency Politics, Government and Business Under Indonesia’s Future...

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Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has emerged victorious in Indonesia’s closely fought presidential election. On July 22, the General Elections Commission (KPU) officially declared the Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla ticket the winner of the July 9 election, following a nearly two week process of tallying more than 130 million votes from across the archipelago. Jokowi will be sworn in as Indonesia’s seventh president – and the second president elected by full and direct democracy – no later than October 20.

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  • A Jokowi Presidency Politics, Government and Business Under Indonesias Future President July 24, 2014
  • A Jokowi Presidency Indonesia is the fourth largest country in the world by population. is the worlds largest Muslim-majority democracy. is the 10th largest economy in the world based on PPP. has a rapidly growing middle and consumer class, currently numbering some 45 million. Executive Summary Joko Jokowi Widodo has emerged victorious in Indonesias closely fought presidential election. On July 22, the General Elections Commission (KPU) officially declared the Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla ticket the winner of the July 9 election, following a nearly two- week process of tallying more than 130 million votes from across the archipelago. Jokowi will be sworn in as Indonesias seventh president and the second president elected by full and direct democracy no later than October 20. Jokowi will take the helm of the worlds fourth largest country at a time of unprecedented challenges. He will lead a nation in which ethnic and religious tensions are intensifying, the gap between rich and poor is expanding, and trust in government sits at an all-time low due to corruption. He will need to breathe new life into Indonesias lackluster economy, while preparing the country for rising competition associated with the imminent launch of the ASEAN Economic Community. Profound reforms are needed in education, infrastructure remains underdeveloped, and he will need to make deeply unpopular cuts in fuel subsidies. On the global stage, he will contend with a rising China to the north, a continuing influx of asylum seekers, and rising pressure to protect Indonesias overseas workers. Jokowi will need to lead the country through these challenges in a country divided over his very leadership. By Indonesian standards, his eight million-vote win over rival candidate Prabowo Subianto is a feeble victory. It has given him a fragile mandate to lead, which may be further enfeebled by Prabowos promised legal challenges and internal politics within PDI-P. Thus, the question becomes whether or not Jokowi has the political capital necessary to make the tough decisions the country needs. In Indonesia, like in any democracy, successful governance is determined by successful politics. The end of the official campaign marks the beginning of an intense period of political jockeying and behind-the- scenes campaigning. Coalitions will be dissolved and remade, parties will elect new leaders, political appointments will be made, and the legislature will make some important decisions of its own. Navigating this period will require a strong balancing act from Jokowi. His actions and choices will need to reaffirm his image as a reformer, while simultaneously garnering political support from the old guards that still dominate Indonesias politics. The success or failure of the Jokowi administration over the next five years will be largely determined by the political decisions made in the next three months. Multinationals in Indonesia will need to watch this political process carefully. Foreign investors have reacted positively to the Jokowi win on the back of his pledges to welcome foreign investment, cut red tape and ease bureaucracy. Yet Jokowis ability to implement these promised reforms will come down to whether he can build strong political support that can help him overcome his post-election weaknesses. 1
  • A Jokowi Presidency Election Fast Facts There were over 190 million eligible voters Total turnout was over 134 million, representing almost 70% of eligible voters There were an estimated 67 million new voters, representing 35% of the population Jokowi won with 79,997,833 votes (compared with Prabowos 62,576,444 votes) Jokowi won in 23 of 33 provinces, including Jakarta, central and east Java, Bali, Papua and most of Kalimantan and Sulawesi . Joko Widodo Born: June 21, 1961 in Surakarta (Solo), central Java Age: 53 Religion: Islam Socioeconomic background: working class Education: engineering degree from Gadjah Mada University (1985) Family: Married to Iriana, has three daughters Current political party: Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Pre-political career: furniture store owner Political career: mayor of Solo (2005-2012), major of Jakarta (2012-2014) Notable achievements: o Anti-corruption initiatives, like barring his own family members from bidding on municipal projects o Healthcare insurance program in Solo and Jakarta o City revitalization and infrastructure projects Personal style and approach: o Populist, can-do, down-to-earth o Media savvy o Relies heavily on trusted advisors, often outside official administration o Patient politician deals come after several face-to-face meetings A Fragile Mandate Joko Jokowi Widodo officially won the July 9 Indonesian election with 53.15% of the popular vote. This result reflecting a differential of just over 8 million votes represents the smallest margin of victory in Indonesias history of direct presidential elections. It was a closely-fought campaign that in many ways represented a nationwide referendum on Indonesias future direction. Jokowi ran as the candidate of change. His very candidacy represented a break from the political dynasties that had dominated the presidency since the founding of Indonesia. He pledged to bring a new style of politics to the office of the president; a style that is bottom-up, down-to-earth and reflects a can-do spirit. He positioned himself as a man of the people and the natural leader of Indonesias younger generation. His rival, Prabowo Subianto of the Gerindra Party, presented the public with the option of returning to old-style politics. He pledged to bring back a level of decisiveness that many feel was lacking during the 10-year administration of outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Deeply populist and nationalistic, Prabowo painted a compelling picture of an Indonesia for Indonesians. In words and in action, he was a bastion of old-style politics. The fact that the final results were so close suggests that this election did not produce a definitive answer about Indonesias future. Jokowi will come to power in October in a country where nearly half the voters are skeptical of his leadership and his vision for Indonesia. He simply does not have the popular support to enact the sweeping changes that will substantiate his image as a reformer. Without this mandate from the people, Jokowi will need to turn to politics to build the support he will need to be an effective leader. 2
  • A Jokowi Presidency Can Prabowo Still Win? Prabowo has pledged to appeal the KPU decision to the Constitutional Court by Friday, July 29. The Court has said it will listen to the case beginning on August 4, before making a decision by August 20. The Court can make the following rulings: Reject to hear the appeal due to lack of evidence, thereby upholding the KPU results Issue a recount in some areas or nationwide Call for a revote Prabowo is unlikely to be successful in his appeal, despite having a degree of influence in the Court Although Jokowis victory margin was the smallest in Indonesias short history of directly electing presidents, It is still large enough to rule out a level of fraud that would alter the outcome of the election. A Difficult Balancing Act While the official campaign season has ended, the politics associated with this election are far from over. The fact that Jokowi was unable to secure decisive popular support means he will need to build strong political support to ensure he is able to govern effectively. Between now and his October inauguration, Jokowi will need to take steps to solidify his political backing and lay the foundations for an effective administration. The success of his presidency can be judged by whether he is able to: Move the conversation beyond the election. Jokowis rival candidate Prabowo Subianto theatrically withdrew from the election results just hours before the official announcement, citing systematic unfairness by the KPU and other injustices. He has pledged to appeal the results to the Constitutional Court, which will have one month to issue a decision on the appeal. To ensure that his image is not tarnished by protracted legal battles, Jokowi will need to deftly position himself as Indonesias undisputed next leader without antagonizing diehard Prabowo supporters. He can do this by continuing neutral remarks that support unity as well as acquiring supports from the oppositions side. Negotiating within PDI-P. The Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) is chaired by Megawati Sukarnoputri, former president of Indonesia (2001-2004) and daughter of Indonesias founding father, Sukarno. A powerful politician, Megawati has made it clear that she views the party as the paramount ruling institution, of which Jokowi is a key member. So long as Megawati remains at the head of PDI-P, Jokowi will need to ensure that he retains strong support from her without opening himself to criticisms that he is a frail or puppet leader. Finding this balance will require him to make some concessions within the PDI-P while also standing his ground on key appointments and with regards to his policy agenda. Build a strong coalition. There are already signs that Prabowos election-run merah-putih (red-white) coalition is beginning to unravel. Golkar, a party that has never served in the opposition, has already called for an extraordinary [party] congress that may see it elect a new leader who favors joining the Jokowi coalition. Meanwhile, an official from the outgoing ruling party signaled that his Democratic Party may be open to negotiations with the Jokowi coalition. 3