2. Politics ～Indonesia Overview ～
In recent years, Indonesia has strengthened its democratic system and Mr. Yudhoyono, who was the President of Indonesia from 2004 to 2014, was the first to be elected by direct election. Former President Yudhoyono restored security in throughout Indonesia, resolved the independence dispute problem, strengthened involvement in ASEAN and exerted a leadership role in Asia. At the same time, the Indonesian economy became stable and their democracy has been strengthened.
The Joko Widodo regime was established on 20th October 2014 and public expectations are high, as he is the first president not to have come from the military or political elite, having a so called “man of the people” image.
However the country’s economic growth has been slow since 2013. There are also many outstanding issues, such as the provision of infrastructure and the resolution of regional differences. The new Indonesian parliament opened on 1st October 2014, but the ruling coalition (in which the Indonesian Democratic Party – Struggle (PDI-P) whose chairman is Joko Widodo is the largest party) has secured a total of only 246 House seats, which is less than half of the 560 House seats. Mr Widodo’s defeated rival in the presidential election (9th July), Mr. Prabowo (The Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra)) launched a challenge shortly after the election, claiming he lost due to “massive” electoral fraud. His bid was rejected by Indonesia’s top court in August.
To sustain political stability, it is essential for the ruling coalition to hold a large number of seats. The Golongan Karya party (Golkar) was claimed political attention as it won 91 seats, but Golkar is now on the brink of major unrest, with conflicting factions, with Aburizal Bakrie insisting he is the only legitimate Golkar chairman but an anti-Bakrie group opposes him. The situation of ruling coalition is too uncertain. However the new president Joko Widodo is immensely popular and the nation has great expectations of him.