Category: Politics

Last month, Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama disappointed many of his supporters when he announced that he would run as a party-backed candidate in the 2017 election. Dr Dirk Tomsa takes a look at Teman Ahok, the volunteer group that campaigned for the governor to run as an independent. What’s next for Teman Ahok, now that its reason for being no longer exists?

President Joko Widodo’s economy-focused cabinet reshuffle on 27 July has been described as evidence of his growing talent for managing political relationships. But as Matthew Busch writes, while the reshuffle might be a political success, it should not be assumed the gloss extends to the economy.

President Joko Widodo appointed a new cabinet on 27 July, adding nine new faces. Burhanuddin Muhtadi writes that the reshuffle was a pragmatic move aimed at consolidating his now broad ruling coalition and providing him with greater freedom to implement his priority programs. He might appear to be playing it safe, Burhanuddin says, but this strategy is not without risks.

Since the advent of democracy, Islam has become increasingly visible in Indonesian society and politics. But the electoral success of Islamic parties remains limited. How does this compare with the experiences of other Muslim-majority countries? Will Islamic parties ever be able to dominate Indonesian politics? Dr Ken Setiawan chats to Professor Vedi Hadiz about these issues and more in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

Jokowi was produced by a decentralised democratic system in which negotiation, including with oligarchs, was necessary for advancement. But now that he is president, he finds that he has nothing to bargain with except his personal popularity. As Professor Vedi Hadiz writes, negotiating with oligarchy may end up eroding the popularity Jokowi needs to negotiate with them in the first place.

After weeks of speculation, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) confirmed in early April that it had dismissed outspoken lawmaker Fahri Hamzah. PhD candidate Luqman-nul Hakim looks at the broader political implications of the move and what it means for PKS’s position in the Red and White Coalition (KMP).

Indonesians were stunned earlier this month after a photo emerged of Bogor Mayor Bima Arya opening the new office of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), an organisation that openly rejects democracy and the Indonesian state. Burhanuddin Muhtadi looks at the movement and its strategy to revive a transnational Islamic caliphate.

Previous attempts by the Indonesian left to move into politics have not met with much success. Iqra Anugrah looks at the Confederation of Indonesian People’s Movements (KPRI), an emerging alliance that is now making preparations to participate in elections in 2017 and 2019. Will it be able to make an impact where others have struggled?

Indonesian voters will head to the ballot box on Wednesday to elect governors and mayors in nine provinces and 260 districts. Dr Dave McRae and Diane Zhang take a close look at past election results to examine the extent to which incumbency provides candidates with an edge.

Bogor Mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto rose to power in 2014 with pledges to eradicate corruption in the civil service, restore order to the city and improve waste management. But as Lies Marcoes writes, over recent months his name has become synonymous with religious intolerance.