Legal observers have welcomed President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s decision to select Saldi Isra to replace corruption suspect Patrialis Akbar on the Constitutional Court. Muhammad Tanziel Aziezi writes that the transparent and participatory selection process was crucial for improving public faith in the institution.

The extractive industries sector is notorious for rent-seeking, opaque licensing rules and assertive resource nationalism. In this episode of Talking Indonesia, new host Dr Dirk Tomas speaks to Dr Poppy Sulistyaning Winanti about civil society efforts to improve transparency and accountability in the sector.

Last week, Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to former Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mahfud MD during a visit to Melbourne Law School. In this Q&A, Mahfud reflects on a number of the controversial cases that came before the court during his tenure, as well as prospects for anti-corruption and bureaucratic reform under President Joko Widodo.

During the New Order period, the middle class was routinely depicted as small (less than 10 per cent of the population) and uninterested in democracy. According to Dr Gerry van Klinken, that picture now needs a serious overhaul. They are interested in democracy, he writes, and even more in decentralisation, and play a crucial role in holding the country together.

Founded 16 years ago, Indonesia’s National Ombudsman has often been dismissed as an ineffectual body. But the institution has recently received an injection of budget funds and its new members are widely seen as competent and committed individuals. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to the new chair of the Ombudsman, Amzulian Rifai, about problems in public service delivery and how the Ombudsman is working to address them.

Professor Todung Mulya Lubis is one of Indonesia’s most respected lawyers and a champion of human rights and judicial reform. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to Pak Mulya about the future of reform in the justice sector and the controversial Jakarta International School cases.

President Joko Widodo could lose civil society support over his failure to defend the Corruption Eradication Commission from attacks from the police, write Professor Tim Lindsey and Associate Professor Simon Butt.

With the official naming of the next President still six days away, Indonesian “netizens” concerned about election honesty have taken activism to a new level, uploading raw “real count” data and tallying it themselves. Lily Yulianti Farid explains.

Social media has been pivotal in this campaign, and is today being enlisted by worried citizens to try to expose fraud at the ballot box. Lily Yulianti Farid tracks a net-citizens’ movement.

As political campaigns become more slick, the price of party success skyrockets, encouraging corruption. Thomas Reuter explores how this plays out in Indonesia, and suggests some solutions.

Indonesian voters are looking for parties that can deliver clean governance, lower corruption and address popular welfare issues, said Tim Lindsey in an interview with ABC News 24 yesterday (link is external).

Indonesia has had a series of minority governments since the fall of Soeharto in 1998, but former President Megawati Soekarnoputri’s party, PDI-P, might just emerge from tomorrow’s legislative elections closer…